Philippine police officers told to smile, or else

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine police officers were instructed Wednesday to smile in public or face suspension in an attempt to spruce up their image as rough and rude.

The new guidelines were announced after one of the country’s bloodiest weeks in crime. Ten people were lined up and shot dead in a bank robbery last week, and on Monday, a man went on a killing spree in a farming town that left eight residents dead.

“We are encouraging policemen to be community friendly,” police Director Leopoldo Bataoil said. “There is no place for rough and brusque officers in this organization.”

He said police were responding to public complaints over officers’ behavior at road checkpoints.

“Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you so much. Sir/Ma’am … these are words of courtesy which the public wants to hear from us,” Bataoil said.

He said officers who fail to follow the guidelines will be charged administratively and face suspension.

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