DILG Secretary Eduardo Año. (Screengrab from PNP Facebook live video)
MANILA – Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Thursday urged all members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to strive harder to redeem their reputation which has been marred by various controversies.
“Thus, we need to work even harder to alter this perception and improve the image on all our personnel,” Año said in his speech during the celebration of the 119th anniversary of the PNP’s police service.
He made this call after noting that PNP personnel are often on the receiving end of criticisms on social media due to various reasons.
He added that the goal of police officers should be for the public to equate their presence to a feeling of security and safety and encouraged them to continue upholding peace and order.
He added that the police organization should continue its internal cleansing program to get rid of rogue officers.
“Our efforts are already gaining momentum and we will not stop until every scalawag is removed from our ranks. Hence, we must be unyielding in our internal cleansing drive, and by employing measures that beef up our character and caliber, we will be able to build a reputable and formidable police force trusted and well-respected by the Filipino people,” Año said.
The PNP Service Anniversary is being celebrated to commemorate the establishment of the Philippine Constabulary in 1901, which was the country’s first insular police force.
This year’s theme focuses on the mandate and resiliency of policemen in the time of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic: “Towards A Pandemic-Resilient PNP: Deploying Digital Technologies and Adopting Protective Protocols in The New Normal.”
Meanwhile, PNP chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa, in his message for the occasion, said the event serves to recall and appreciate the beginnings of the police service and to pay tribute to their predecessors and police heroes who fought, sacrificed, and died so that the country may enjoy freedom, peace, and security.
“As we commemorate yet another chapter in the PNP history, I hope that every man and woman of this organization know the police service history by heart, because by knowing our roots and our history of gallantry and valor, that we could find the wisdom to move forward and be inspired to equal or even surpass the triumph of our noble police heroes that marked the history of the PNP,” he added.
As PNP chief, Gamboa said empowering people has become his top priority, stressing that human resource is the most important resource of the police force.
“To fully realize this noble goal, key initiatives were decisively implemented. We have strengthened our Human Resources by beefing up the number of personnel through continuous recruitment,” he added.
As a result, he said PNP operational units have gained strong footings against criminal activities especially on our campaign against illegal drugs, illegal gambling, and terrorism, among others.
“In our latest statistics on index crime, comparing the period from December 17, 2019 to March 16, 2020 as against the period from March 17 to June 15, 2020, 91 days before and after the Enhanced Community Quarantine, there was a remarkable decrease of 14, 219 to 6,408 or a reduction of 54.93 percent,” he said.
He added that the PNP has proven its capability to enforce the law against high-value criminals with the increase in the arrest of Most Wanted Persons at the different levels nationwide, highlighted by the recent arrest of Ruben Ecleo, the country’s most wanted person who has been in hiding for nine years.
“I, therefore, congratulate all our field investigators nationwide for a job well done. Under my watch, the anti-illegal drug operations from October 14, 2019 to August 1, 2020, showed a total of 41,972 conducted operations, 62,342 arrested drug suspects, 3,293 surrendered personalities, and a total of 2,261,623.45 grams roughly 2 tons of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu seized with a total Dangerous Drug Board’s value of 15.379 billion pesos. Included therein is the PNP-DEG’s (Drug Enforcement Group) biggest buy-bust operations in Marilao Bulacan worth 5.6 billion pesos of shabu,” he said.
Gamboa said such a rare feat is considerably the largest in terms of quantity and value of shabu confiscated in a single operation since the anti-illegal drugs campaign was launched in 2016.
“In the government’s campaign to end local communist armed conflict, I want to commend the substantial contribution of the different field units involved both in the red and white area operations that led to the surrender of 476 local terrorists, confiscation of 1669 assorted firearms and neutralization of 85 CTGs (communist terrorist groups) who opt to fight it out with the government,” he said. (PNA)