MANILA — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Wednesday, August 30, directed the newly promoted officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to lead its personnel to be “effective and exemplary.”
“To the newly appointed and promoted officials, I ask you to lead the men and women of the PNP as together, you fulfill this task,” President Duterte said in a speech during the oath taking ceremony of PNP star rank officers in Malacañan Palace.
“Guide them to become the exemplary and effective police officers that our country needs at this important juncture of our history,” he said.
The Chief Executive highlighted the duty of the police to ensure that Filipinos are protected from the various elements that prey on the citizenry.
“You are the protectors of our people and they look to you for respite, succor and safety,” he said.
According to the President, illegal drugs and criminality remain among the most difficult challenges that the country needs to hurdle.
“The problem, it appears, is the lack of political will to combat these ills from our country’s leaders,” Duterte said, noting that many politicians are either cowed or are protectors of drug lords and criminals.
“Some are even drug lords and criminals so they neither have the urgency nor possess the resolve to deal with the many evils affecting our society today,” he further noted.
In his speech, the Chief Executive ordered the police force to remain vigilant, stay alert, and be ready, noting that the country is not yet safe from harm and danger despite the headway made against illegal drugs and criminality.
He likewise said police officers should sustain their efforts against illegal drugs and crime. “Do not be afraid as long as you do your duties,” Duterte said.
The President pledged that his administration will never tolerate any abuse of power, corruption and illegal activities in the PNP and the entire bureaucracy.
Also during his speech, President Duterte reiterated the need for 20,000 new soldiers and the recruitment of five to seven battalions of Special Action Force (SAF).
“Alam mo sabi nga nila noon marami tayong sundalo. Totoo ‘yan. In times of peace, wala tayong problema. Kung walang gulo, no deployment or nothing and there’s a big space for everybody to move. Noon ‘yun. But with the coming of the ISIS, drugs coming in from anywhere and everywhere, pati itongterrorism, criminality, hirap tayo ngayon,” he said.
Duterte also mentioned the need to improve the country’s assets to address domestic threats. “So we have to improve on our assets. Madagdagan ko lang ng 12 ‘yang Air Force natin, make it a 24 in numbers, it would be a credible Air Force, [FA-50]. But I need the fast boats and the powerful precision-guided missiles. That’s what I’ve been trying to get,” he said.
The President said fast boats are also needed to pursue the pirates and terrorists.