1,200 Philip­pine cops re­lieved of duty

New Straits Times - - World -

MANILA: The city’s po­lice chief or­dered that the en­tire 1,200mem­ber po­lice force in one of Manila’s big­gest ar­eas be re­lieved of duty and re­trained yes­ter­day, in re­sponse to a se­ries of con­tro­ver­sies, in­clud­ing the killing of two teenagers.

Metro Manila’s top of­fi­cer Oscar Al­bay­alde said po­lice per­son­nel in Caloocan would un­dergo re­train­ing and re­ori­en­ta­tion be­fore be­ing re­as­signed to other po­lice units.

All per­son­nel in Caloocan’s po­lice head­quar­ters and seven precincts would be tem­po­rar­ily re­placed by the re­gional pub­lic safety bat­tal­ion, a com­bat­trained unit.

Al­bay­alde did not say how long the re­train­ing would last and how long it would take for the Caloocan po­lice force to be re­placed.

It is the first time an en­tire city po­lice unit has been re­lieved of its du­ties since Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte un­leashed his bloody crack­down against il­le­gal drugs 15 months ago, a cam­paign that had killed thou­sands of Filipinos.

The move came amid in­tense scru­tiny of po­lice ac­tiv­i­ties in Caloocan in the wake of the killing of Kian Loyd De­los San­tos, 17, last month, in what po­lice said was an anti-drugs op­er­a­tion.

An­other teenager, Carl Ar­naiz, suf­fered a sim­i­lar fate. He was ac­cused of try­ing to rob a taxi driver and shoot­ing at po­lice who tried to ar­rest him.

About two dozen Calo ocan res­i­dents, hold­ing plac­ards say­ing “Stop the Killings”, held a noisy protest out­side the precinct’s po­lice head­quar­ters.

EPA PIC

A po­lice of­fi­cer giv­ing in­struc­tions to trainees un­der­go­ing field train­ing ex­er­cises at the po­lice head­quar­ters in Caloocan, north­east of Manila, yes­ter­day.

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