MANILA The Philippine National Police (PNP) vowed to go after profiteers and hoarders taking advantage of the weekend onslaught of Typhoon Ompong in areas in northern Luzon.
In a statement released to newsmen before flying to personally inspect police operations in the affected areas Monday, PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde stressed that "part of our post disaster law and order functions include enforcement of regulations on fair trade imposed by the Department of Trade and Industry against hoarding,profiteering and illegal trade practices to ensure availability of consumer goods in the market".
"In the aftermath of Typhoon Ompong, the Philippine National Police is shifting focus from search,rescue and recovery to more of law and order functions and support to relief and rehabilitation operations to hasten restoration to normalcy of all public and private functions and services briefly disrupted in areas affected by calamity," Albayalde said.
As of 7 p.m. Sunday, at least 5,000 boxes of family packs were repacked by National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) personnel at the DSWD National Relief Operations Center in Pasay City.
PNP units in Northern Luzon also deployed personnel to local DSWD relief distribution hubs, where supplies had been prepositioned ahead of the typhoon's landfall over the weekend.
Road clearing operations continue along highways and major thoroughfares leading to the hard-hit areas in Cagayan, Ilocos provinces, Isabela and Kalinga.
A 24-man search and rescue platoon from the PNP Special Action Force (SAP) led by Chief Insp. Ramel Rendage and Senior Insp. Ramel Marammag was inserted into Itogon, Benguet on Sunday to assist in the search for survivors of landslides.
The SAF's Search and Rescue Unit is equipped with two radar life detectors, ropes, harnesses and digging tools.
It is also capable of rescue operations in collapsed structures and major emergency incidents. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency