Taguig lets loose ‘nightbirds’ against criminals

By Julie M. Aurelio
Last updated 02:45am (Mla time) 07/27/2007

MANILA, Philippines – A different kind of “nightbird” will soon be roaming crime-prone areas in Taguig City to discourage criminal activities at night.


The Taguig City police will soon deploy patrol groups to Barangay Signal Village, Lower Bicutan and Western Bicutan as part of its increased police visibility and anti-criminality campaign.


The campaign, dubbed “Oplan Nightbirds 2007,” involves the deployment of foot and mobile patrols. “The teams will be composed of select members of the Taguig Mobile Patrol Group (TMPG), the city government’s Public Order and Safety Office, Office of the Social Welfare and Development and the General Services Office,” said Supt. Alfred Corpus, city police chief.


Corpus said the patrol team would be composed of 30 to 40 persons.


City Mayor Freddie Tinga expressed his support for the special night operations group.


“One of our biggest priorities is to provide our constituents with a safe and secure community. We hope to increase police visibility and provide preventive measures against nocturnal crimes,” Tinga said.


The “Nightbirds” will also make their presence felt in areas that have become favorite hang-outs of people in the evening, such as Internet cafés, 24-hour convenience stores, hospitals, and call centers.


“The group was primarily formed to address nocturnal criminality and lawlessness in the city. But more than providing preventive security measure, it will promptly respond to emergencies in their areas of coverage,” police chief Corpus said.


He added that they would also strictly implement City Ordinance 13, which imposed a curfew on minors in the city.


The ordinance provides that residents below 18 years old are prohibited from going out of their homes from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. the following day unless they are accompanied by an adult. Minors are barred from “loitering or roaming aimlessly in the streets, stores, bars, plazas, basketball courts, recreation halls, amusement centers or malls, billiard halls and/or pool rooms and other public places.”


Violators will be brought to the city’s social welfare office for counseling. Corpus said the offenders would be required to render community service under the supervision of barangay officials or social welfare officials.


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