Youth lawmaker assails return of ‘secret marshals’

AS THE nation commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Martial Law declaration, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) announced that it will again be deploying “secret marshals” in passenger vehicles, a tactic employed by Martial Law era police.

“Ironically, while the nation relives the terror that was Martial Law, here is an announcement from the NCRPO that seemingly wants to revive the horrors of that era,” Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino said.

According to NCRPO Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina, secret marshals will again be deployed in the coming days to curb the rising crime rates in Metro Manila.

The police first deployed secret marshals during the Marcos regime, but the said practice was eventually phased off, after various incidents wherein civilians get killed by undercover agents that mistake them for criminals.

“History has shown that instead of protecting commuters, putting secret marshals in buses, jeeps and other public transportation posts serious risks for passengers,” Palatino said. “It’s a practice long buried in the past. Why is NCRPO digging its own dirt?”

“The NCRPO should remember that it is tasked to protect, and not add harm to innocent civilians. Instead of reviving Marcosian tactics to curb criminal activity, the police should focus on improving its existing security programs and ensure that our authorities are doing their jobs,” Palatino said.


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