1,200 Philippine cops relieved of duty
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.
A police officer giving instructions to trainees undergoing field training exercises at the police headquarters in Caloocan, northeast of Manila, yesterday.