ENFORCERS OR VIOLATORS? Cops told to follow traffic laws amid on-road parking yarn

Police Regional Office-6 personnel receive benediction from the regional chaplain during one of their major deployments. Top PNP officials reminded cops that they are not exempt from simple traffic rules and regulations. (DG File)

By Jennifer P. Rendon

No one, not even police personnel, is exempted from complying with laws and regulations.

The Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) and the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) reiterated this point amid claims that cops themselves violate traffic laws.

Just recently, the Liga ng Mga Barangay admitted that they can’t reprimand every person who illegally parks on roads.

Sangguniang Panlungsod ex-officio member Irene Ong, president of the Liga ng mga Barangays in Iloilo City, admitted that they have a big problem in curbing illegal parking since village chairmen are not deputized by the Land Transportation Office.

Ong particularly pointed to Barangay Veterans Village in City Proper district, Iloilo City where a number of violators are allegedly police officers.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Joem Malong, PRO-6 spokesperson, said barangay captains and traffic enforcers are simply doing their jobs if they cautioned those who violate laws and regulations.

“If they need to issue tickets to our personnel for committing violations, they have to do that. It is understood that we, police officers, should follow simple traffic laws,” she said.

Malong added that they fully commit to cooperate with the local government units (LGUs) in the full implementation of the road clearing operation and other related campaigns.

“We will not tolerate our personnel for any violation,” she said.

Police Captain Shella Mae Sangrines, ICPO spokesperson, seconded Malong’s statement saying there’s no exemption in the implementation of traffic rules.

Police Colonel Eric Dampal, Iloilo City Police chief, would issue a reiteration to all ICPO personnel to follow traffic rules and regulations.

Sangrines said Dampal would also direct Police Major Francisco Paguia, Iloilo City Police Station 1 commander, to check the Veterans Village area and its neighboring villages over on-road parking violations.

“For those who would remain defiant, they will be dealt with accordingly,” she said.

Sangrines also asked the public to report PNP personnel who are committing violations of the law, to include traffic rules and regulations.

Just recently, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) urged the public to make their respective LGUs liable for clearing the roads of any obstruction.

On Feb. 17, the DILG launched a new round of road clearing operations that would run for 75 days.

The order particularly aims of clearing inner and tertiary roads for public use.