By Martin Sadongdong
Have you spotted sleeping, drinking or any unruly cops lately? Just text “Bato.”
Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Chief Supt. John Bulalacao has reminded the public that they can personally report to PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa any rogue cops through the “Text Bato” hotline 2286.
The reminder was issued by Bulalacao following the relief of cops in Metro Manila who were caught by National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Oscar Albayalde either sleeping or drinking liquor during surprise inspections last week.
“[Text Bato hotline] is still active and it is being maintained by the PNP-DPCR (Directorate for Police Community Relations),” Bulalacao told the Manila Bulletin in an interview today.
According to the PNP, “Text Bato” is the 24/7 hotline project of the PNP that allows ordinary citizens to report crime incidents and law enforcement concerns directly to dela Rosa.
The country’s main telecom and digital service providers Globe Telecom Inc., Smart and PLDT signed separate agreements with the PNP in 2016 to formalize the launch of the Text Bato hotline and ever since, thousands of complaints and reports from citizens have been recorded by the national police force and given action.
Bulalacao added that Red Teams, or inspecting teams who are tasked to check the performance of policemen, will be conducting more spot checks in the coming days.
“This is to check the police on how they perform their job and all other requirements necessary for the effective and efficient performance of duty,” he said.
However, Bulalacao clarified that Red Teams have long been existing within the national police force, even before the sleeping and drinking cops where discovered in the Metro Manila.
“This red teaming is already being implemented ever since and the RDs (regional directors) are already doing this. I think the only difference is the operations in the regions are not well covered by the media compared to Metro Manila,” he said.
On Wednesday and Thursday (February 7 and 8), Albayalde made surprise inspections in several police precincts in Muntinlupa, Pasay, Makati, Manila, Caloocan and Quezon City where he found sleeping, drinking, and nonperforming cops. This resulted in the sacking of three chiefs of police and the relief of more than 20 others.