By Martin Sadongdong
The Philippine National Police (PNP) wants even more improved service for Filipinos as it celebrated its 118th Police Service Anniversary Friday at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
President Duterte, who graced the event as guest of honor and speaker, led the presentation of awards and decorations to PNP units and personnel for their outstanding achievements and performances.
The PNP’s “achievements” under the anti-drug campaign of the government was bannered by Police General Oscar Albayalde, PNP Chief.
From July 1, 2016 to July 31, 2019, Albayalde said that more than 256,000 drug suspects were arrested; 6,000 died in legitimate police operations; and more than 1.2 million surrendered to authorities under “Oplan: Tokhang”.
Meanwhile, out of the more than 42,000 barangays (villages) nationwide, authorities have cleared more than 13,000 villages of illegal drugs.
“As I have promised since I assumed command over the PNP in April 2018, we will not relax, we will not relent, and we will fulfill our President’s vision of a drug-free Philippines,” Albayalde said.
“Let me assure our countrymen that our police operations against illegal drugs continue to be conducted within the bounds of the law with utmost respect for humanr rights,” he added.
Albayalde also thanked Duterte for his “untiring” support to the PNP, especially to its Capability Enhancement Program (CEP).
He said that in 2008, the PNP only received P1 billion for its CEP, and it was set to increase by P2 billion every year. But from 2016 to 2019, under Duterte’s presidency, he said that the PNP received a total of P22.6 billion for its CEP.
The PNP celebrates August 8 as Police Service Anniversary in commemoration of the joint founding anniversaries of the Insular Constabulary established in 1901 and the Integrated National Police organized in 1975, both forerunner organizations of the PNP.
Police Colonel Nino David Rabaya, from PNP Finance Service, led the individual awardees as he received the Medalya ng Kasanayan and Achievement Award for being the Best Senior Police Commissioned Office for Administration.
Meanwhile, Police Colonel Eleazar Matta, from Calabarzon Police Regional Office (PRO-4A), received the Medalya ng Kasanayan and Achievement Award for being the Best Senior Police Commissioned Officer for Operations.
Eight other police personnel were awarded the Medalya ng Kasanayan and Achievement Award.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Lyra Stella Valera, of the Directorate for Plans, was bestowed with Medalya ng Kasanayan and a special award as she was recognized for her contribution to the enactment of two PNP priority bills during the 18th Congress and the institutionalization of the PNP legislative agenda.
Best Police Regional Office
The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), under the helm of Major General Guillermo Eleazar, was adjudged as this year’s Best Police Regional Office.
The Calabarzon Police Regional Office (PRO-4A) was presented the Special Unit Awards for accomplishing the most number of arrested gun-for-hire suspects in relation to the implementation of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) gun ban during the 2019 election period.
Meanwhile, three police generals were given special individual awards for their “noble contributions” in the six-month rehabilitation program of the country’s crown jewel — Boracay in Western Visayas (Region 6), and ensuring the security, and peace and order in the area.
They were Major General Hawthorne Binag, chief of the Directorate for Information and Communications Technology Management (DICTM) and former Western Visayas Police Regional Office (PRO-6) director; retired Brigadier General John Bulalacao, former PNP spokesperson and PRO-6 director; and Brigadier General Jesus Cambay Jr., PNP Secretary of Directorial Staff and former Metro Boracay Task Force Commander.
Western Visayas Police Regional Office (PRO-6) under the stewardship of Police Brig. Gen. Rene Pamuspusan also received the Special Unit Award as the highest performing regional office in the implementation of the PNP Anti-Crime Strategy “Enhanced Managing Police Operations”.
For the second time in 12 years, the PNP Public Information Office (PIO) received the Special Unit Award in recognition of its noble contribution in PNP’s efforts to implement systematic and comprehensive public information programs through proactive media relations and online platforms.
The PNP Officer’s Ladies Club, Inc. was also recognized for providing services for the general welfare of the PNP and maintaining the quality preschool education for PNP direct dependents.
Nine other units were also bestowed with respective awards for their accomplishments in terms of providing public security and ensuring the country’s peace and order.