Erroneous TV news report sparks controversy on police presence – PPPO

By November 22, 2021Top Stories


WHAT was expected to be a quiet and orderly opening of the first limited in-person classes at the Longos  Elementary School in Alaminos City on November 15 became the source of a controversy between the Alaminos City government, the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Philippine National Police following an erroneous and inaccurate report aired by ABS-CBN in its Kapamilya Channel last week.

The controversial TV report showed “a policeman with a slinged long firearm assisting a pupil bringing out his school supplies from his bag inside a classroom.”

To avert further misunderstanding, P/Colonel Tandina, provincial police director, ordered  an investigation into the erroneous  TV report aired on ANC which, he said, tainted the credibility and image of PNP Pangasinan.

Meanwhile, P/Brigadier General Emmanuel Peralta, Police Regional Office 1 director, expressed his apologies to both the city government and the DepEd over the misrepresentation of facts of the incident involving the police.

The reported incident that went viral in social media happened when police personnel—upon the request of a school official—were deployed to the Longos Elementary School in Barangay Pangapisan, Alaminos City, to provide security and to help ensure observance of maximum public health standards.

Earlier, an official statement of DepEd in reaction to the TV footage said the police officers were part of security detail of a local city official who visited the school.

DepEd went further, and said that to prevent occurrence of similar incidents, it reminded “fields officials and school heads to strictly enforce the National Police Framework on Leaders and Schools as Zones of Peace (DepEd Order No. 32,s. Of 2019)” that schools

should be free from the presence of armed combatants, may they be from the government forces, and if needed, shall be situated“ proximate to the school and not inside campus”.

Mayor Bryan Celeste of Alaminos City, however, took offense to the DepEd statement’s statement because it implied that he was the city official being alluded to, and that it was not the city government that made the presence of the armed policemen inside the campus.

The mayor pointed out that “the officer (seen on TV) is, in fact, part of the security team requested by a school official to provide security for members and officials of the PCOO, the media, DepEd, and other VIPs to ensure the safety and well-being of our students, teachers, parents and stakeholders.”

P/Lt. Colonel Ferdinand de Asis, deputy police provincial director and public information officer, also confirmed in a statement that the policemen were part of the security detail that escorted members of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, members of the media in response to the request of Fremilyn Rabago, Head Teacher  1.

Rabago had written to P/Lt. Colonel Leonard Paredes, then chief of police of Alaminos City, and requested security personnel to support the pilot face-to-face classes, specifically “to help us in strictly implementing the health protocol in the community.”

De Asis pointed out that the six-man security team were not in in full battle gear and only one officer was authorized to carry a long firearm.

Contrary to the report of ABS CBN, the parents of the pupils and teachers were very appreciative of the presence and help of the PNP personnel in their school, which was not shown in the photo, a PNP statement reads. (Leonardo Micua)

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