R12 police revives ‘one-strike policy’

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 22 Jan) – The Police Regional Office (PRO) 12 has revived the implementation of the “one-strike policy” for its campaign against illegal gambling and other criminal activities in the region.

Chief Supt. Lester Camba, PRO-12 officer-in-charge (OIC), said Wednesday they decided to strictly implement anew such policy to encourage provincial, city and municipal police chiefs to sustain an intensified campaign against various forms of illegal activities in their areas.

He cited that some local police chiefs appeared to have turned loose so far in terms of their campaign against illegal gambling and other related activities.

“We’ve implemented this policy before but it was set aside for quite some time and eventually forgotten by some of our police chiefs,” he said in a radio interview.

The “one-strike policy” initially provided for the immediate relief of a station commander or chief of police should an anti-illegal gambling operation of other law enforcement units in their areas of responsibility yield positive result.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) later expanded the application of the policy, which was aimed to keep local police chiefs on their toes, in the anti-illegal logging drive and the national campaign against wanted persons.

A number of police station chiefs in this city and others parts of Region 12 were relieved by the PRO-12 in the past for failing the “one-strike policy” in the illegal gambling campaign.

Illegal gambling activities, specifically the “last two” illegal numbers game, have been thriving in various parts of the region since the early 80s.

“Last two” is an illegal numbers game where the winning combination is derived from the last two digits of the winning number combination of the daily lotto draw of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

Aside from the strict implementation of the “one-strike policy,” Camba said the regional police office will push for the upgrading this year of the operational capability of local policemen.

He said they will impose policies that would set proper discipline among their personnel and make sure that they perform their duties and mandates well.

Camba said he will personally monitor the operations and performance of all police stations and units within the region and make sure that they fully comply with their mandates.

He pointed out that all Philippine National Police (PNP) units and personnel are mandated to follow a single set of directives and policies set by their leadership.

The official was referring to the strategies introduced by PNP Director General Alan Purisima that mainly focus on competence, organizational development and reforms, discipline, excellence and professionalism.

“We will check and see to it that these policies are implemented properly by our police offices and stations,” he added.

Camba assumed as OIC of PRO-12 last January 14, replacing acting regional director Chief Supt. Manolito Labador.

Labador, who was the former deputy director for administration of PRO-12, was designated as acting director in early December following the appointment of then regional director Chief Supt. Charles Calima Jr. as head of the PNP directorate for intelligence.