Tuesday, November 10, 2009

39 cops complete rescue training

MANILA, Philippines—The first batch of 39 policemen, who had just finished a five-day training on rescue operations, is now the National Capital Regional Police Office’s ready force to be pulled out any time from their assignments in times of disasters.

The policemen on Tuesday held a demonstration on how to save flood victims, at a lakeside community in Taguig City.

At the graduation ceremony in Lower Bicutan, Taguig City, one policeman with a lifeline around his waist swam in "floodwater" to save two men who feigned drowning by flapping their hands to signal danger. He had also successfully saved a woman marooned inside a wrecked house submerged in water.

Metro Manila police chief Director Roberto Rosales said the training, which included emergency medical action, rope training, water safety and survival, boat handling, was made in response to the onslaught of Tropical Storm “Ondoy” and Typhoon “Pepeng.”

“Last typhoons, our policemen were not fully trained for rescue operations but they were able to save lives and perform their duties,” Rosales said.
He said the NCRPO intended to train at least 20 percent of Metro Manila’s police force and upgrade its disaster response capability.

“What if the rescuer himself became the victim? It's much harder. That’s why we need to be prepared everyday,” he said.

The first batch of police rescuers were presented with actual scenarios usually encountered in disasters.
The graduates of the rescue training program and those who will be tasked to undertake search and rescue operation will be the first to use the newly-built 11 wooden boats and six rubber boats donated by private individuals to NCRPO.

Last month, Rosales wrote to some schools in Metro Manila that offer marine and maritime courses to help them conduct joint training for police personnel and civilian volunteers who may be tasked during calamities, particularly during onslaught of strong typhoons and massive flooding.

He also directed Metro Manila’s district directors to replicate the rescue training and organize their own pool of rescue volunteer brigades. Read the orginal article here http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/metro/view/20091110-235411/39-cops-complete-rescue-training

Sunday, November 1, 2009

DOJ expands free legal aid to cops

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) has expanded the coverage of its program which provides free legal assistance to policemen who are facing charges related to their duties.
Under Department Circular No. 78 released last Friday, Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera has tapped the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) to include in the program, officers with the rank of Senior Police Officer 1 to Senior Police Officer 4.

The free legal assistance program for policemen sued in the line of duty previously only covered those with the rank of Police Officer 1 to Police Officer 3.

Devanadera said the program’s expansion was made “in the interest of the service and pursuant to the provision of existing laws.”

She also ordered PAO chief Persida Rueda-Acosta to come up with implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the circular’s implementation.

In an interview, Acosta cited the program’s importance as it gives protection to policemen who she said, are prone to charges because of their duty to enforce the laws.

“In doing their job, some of these policemen would get counter charges in return. There are cases when they are just being harassed so we’re here to help them. Kawawa naman sila kasi ginagawa lang naman nila ang kanilang trabaho,” she lamented.

But Acosta stressed that policemen cannot expect help from PAO if the charges they are facing are not duty-related or if they are not indigent to qualify for free legal assistance.

The program started earlier this year when the DOJ ordered PAO to give free legal assistance to eight policemen involved in the Feb. 17 shootout in EDSA in Quezon City and accused in a rubout case. Read the original article here http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=519645&publicationSubCategoryId=63