By Jhon Aldrin Casinas and Aaron Recuenco
A Police Community Precinct (PCP) of San Juan City Police, which was considered as a road obstruction, was demolished on Tuesday.
The community precinct 6 was located just right outside the back gate of the Philippine National Police headquarters along First West Crame Street. The PCP has 16 on-duty police officers.
A tanod outpost and an office of the barangay disaster management council beside the PCP 6 were also torn down.
National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde and San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora led the demolishing of the Police Community Precinct 6 of San Juan City.
Eleazar said they decided to prioritize PNP-owned structures that were erected in sidewalks and other spaces that are supposed to belong to motorists and commuters since it is the police which is among those that would be in the forefront of the demolition jobs.
“This is the day one of the implementation of the memorandum circular of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). At maganda na bago tayo mang-giba ng iba eh gibain muna natin sa atin na nag-violate,” said Eleazar.
“By demolishing this Police Community Precinct, our personnel will have the moral ascendancy to demolish other structures that were also erected in public spaces,” Eleazar said.
“Through this, we are setting a good example that there is no sacred cow in the implementation of the President’s order. We hope that this would serve as a wake-up call for others to voluntarily demolish their structures that are clearly erected in improper places,” he added.
The NCRPO was tasked to help implement the order of President Duterte to clear sidewalks and other structures that obstruct pedestrians and vehicles in Metro Manila.
Eleazar said that his men were also instructed to clear all the other sidewalk obstructions in San Juan, some of them date back to the 1990s.
Albayalde, for his part, said that police commanders have already been tasked to identify and initiate the demolition of PCPs located in sidewalks and other public places.
“We have plenty of PCPs which are located along sidewalks. This sets a bad example because this somehow sends bad message that it is okay to do so because the police are violating it in the first place,” said Albayalde.
Aside from structures, Albayalde said they will also run after those who are turning roads as parking spaces for their cars.
Zamora, meanwhile, assured that the local government will provide a better relocation for the new police community precinct.
The demolished community precinct was constructed sometime in 2005, San Juan City Police chief Col. Ariel Fulo told the Manila Bulletin.
“The police personnel assigned at the PCP were informed to prepare prior to the demolition,” Fulo said.
“They were for the meantime relocated at barangay hall of Barangay West Crame,” he added.
The demolition was in compliance with the order of President Duterte made during his State of the Nation Address to reclaim all public roads to ease the traffic congestion in the metropolis.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday gave Metro Manila mayors 60 days to execute the clearing of all obstructions in their respective cities or face suspension.
Read more: 60-day deadline for MM mayors to clear all obstructions in public properties starts