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Philippine 'Santa cops' take to streets

By The Associated Press

MANILA, Philippines — Ho, ho, ho, you're under arrest!

More than 1,000 police officers wearing Santa hats have fanned out across the Philippine capital in time for the Christmas holidays -- traditionally the busiest period for thieves in Manila.

''We are wearing this to show the people that during this Christmas season our hearts and minds are on serving the Filipino people,'' Manila police officer Giovanni Valera said Tuesday.

Metropolitan Manila police chief Geary Barias said 1,000 officers and 700 police recruits have traded their blue caps for Santa hats while conducting more patrols of Manila's crime-ridden streets.

Residents generally praised the idea.

''This serves as a reminder that Christmas is coming and we should have peace,'' said Dennis Perez, a pedestrian.

''The Santa hat is OK, but of course they should focus on their duties,'' said Jenny de Jesus, a parishioner in Quiapo district's Roman Catholic church.

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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