The Philippine National Police yesterday said it would fly in more policemen to areas devastated by Supertyphoon "Yolanda" amid reports of unbridled looting of commercial establishments by desperate residents searching for food and water.
In a news briefing at Camp Crame, PNP Director General Alan Purisima said 883 police personnel had been sent to Western and Eastern Visayas to guard against looters, some of them reportedly armed.
In Tacloban City alone, he said 639 additional PNP personnel were deployed after television crews caught on camera typhoon victims ransacking groceries, warehouses, stores, fast-food restaurants and even jewellery shops.
"We will flood Tacloban with policemen to restore law and order," Purisima said.
"We are checking the city inch by inch. We assure the people that the government will have full control. The policemen we deployed there should make their presence felt," he added.
Purisima, however, said he saw no reason for President Aquino to place Tacloban under martial law to prevent attacks on commercial establishments as suggested by local businessmen and politicians.
"In my opinion, there's no need to declare martial law because what the people need there is food. The government should be able to provide all the things that they need," he said.
He noted the President had directed concerned government agencies to do everything to ensure the continuous delivery of relief supplies in ruined villages.