By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

PNP chief Gen. Rommel Francisco Marbil (Photo courtesy of PNP Public Information Office)

MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Rommel Francisco Marbil is looking into the creation of a five-year development plan on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and other modern technologies as part of smart policing strategies.

In a press briefing shortly after his first command conference at Camp Crame, Quezon City on Tuesday, Marbil said this is to address the rise in cybercrimes and other emerging security challenges.

“For instance, we are on the lookout for a red car. If we ask our police officers, they would just wait and check. But with AI and CCTV (closed circuit television) cameras, when you say red car, all red cars that pass through, you can immediately single out what you are looking for and get the details — plate number, markings, so it’s easier to find it. It will not be tedious if you use AI. It’s quite expensive but this is very useful at the long end,” Marbil said.

He said this would also address the evolving schemes of cybercriminals who are prey on people who are dependent on technology in their daily activities.

“Gumagaling yung mga hackers natin, kaya nga sabi ko we need to get hindi lang mga pulis natin, coming from the civilian sectors na we need to hire na mga experts natin to help us then sa programa natin na kailangan natin (Our hackers are getting good at their work, that’s why I said, we need to get not only police officers, but also people coming for the civilian sectors. We need to hire experts to help us in the programs that we need), we will be investing more doon sa ating (in our) capabilities,” Marbil said.

Marbil, a former PNP director for comptrollership, said the force would invest in enhancing the capabilities of the Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG).

Revised anti-illegal drug approach

Meanwhile, Marbil said while the PNP maintains an uncompromising stance in the fight against illegal drugs, there would be a slight shift in the campaign’s implementation.

“Let’s say from the region, what do we have in that region in particular. Now, we have a general amount, we tell our officers, ‘you should intercept this amount of drugs’. Now, it’s more specific. This is the amount of illegal drugs present in your area, you should wipe that out. It’s not like the general rule setting that officers should intercept or offices are competing in terms of the amount of drug seizures. It’s not like that anymore in the PNP,” he said in Filipino.

He said the quota system on illegal drug seizures does not solve the problem.

“If it’s 10 kg., then you catch 10 kg. It’s not about who caught more. This old system is only compliance-based. Now, it’s more of key performance indicators based on the figures of every region. What is the specific problem of your region, then we will base your performance on addressing these problems,” he added.

He said there would be no major revamp of ranking police officials, noting that this makes affected units unstable.

He also reminded police personnel to refrain from the unnecessary use of mobile phones while on duty.

“The DIDM (Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management) said we have radios to use. So there is no excuse for our policemen to use their cell phones,” he added. (PNA)