KATIPUNAN, QUEZON CITY — In an atmosphere leery of police impunity, the Quezon City Police District is weathering some scrutiny after it conducted a search of bars and other establishments near Katipunan Avenue on 13 September 2017. The QCPD, however, is assuring the public that the search was part of long-standing standard operations, and that they are legal and shouldn’t raise any alarm.
Social media on Wednesday night expressed concern over photos of police conducting random inspection of bags to check for firearms and illegal drugs. Katipunan Avenue is in a residential/ academic area that caters to students from three major colleges and universities: Ateneo de Manila University, Miriam College, and the UP Diliman.
Chief Superintendent Guillermo Eleazar, QCPD director, said these inspections are part of the Philippine National Police’s Oplan Bakal, a campaign in which the police inspect liquor-selling establishments. Eleazar explained that the QCPD coordinates with establishment-owners before any inspection, and that sometimes the owners themselves call on the police. All inspections are done by uniformed personnel.
A representative of Barangay Loyola Heights has also corroborated that the Katipunan bars inspection was done in coordination with the barangay.
Eleazar reiterated the inspections of establishments existed before the Duterte administration’s intensified campaign against illegal drugs. He also added that the QCPD will in no way tolerate any violations committed by its police during these searches.
QCPD reports that no contraband was found during the Wednesday evening search.
The QCPD was earlier criticized for deploying a patrol car during an indignation rally held in front of the Ateneo de Manila University, alarming students and teachers and social media users due to the police presence. The rally had been held in protest of extrajudicial killings.
Recently, the QCPD had drawn flak for going door-to-door in Payatas to conduct random drug-testing among residents.