By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to maintain good public images as he reassured them that the government will work on strengthening their capabilities further.
Speaking before the members of the police force as they mark the 118th year of police service in the country, Duterte reminded the police to enforce the rule of law, prevent and control corruption, maintain peace and order, and ensure public safety and internal security.
“In all of these undertakings, I call upon you to keep your integrity intact as you uphold the highest ethical and professional standards in public service,” he said.
“Now, more than ever, we need to rebuild and sustain the confidence of the Filipino people in our police force,” he added.
The President said that the PNP can expect strong support from the government as he enjoined all police officers to enforce the law.
“Be assured of strong government support in strengthening the capabilities of the PNP in securing and ensuring the welfare and protection of your personnel,” he said.
“I enjoin the entire organization to control its efforts to enforce the rule of law, prevent and control corruption and maintain peace and order, and ensure public safety and internal security,” he added.
Duterte also expressed confidence that his administration can achieve a safer, stronger, and more peaceful future for the Filipino people with the PNP’s “undaunted commitment” to duty, and with the active participation of citizens in nation-building.
The Chief Executive also commended the country’s police force in its strong campaign against criminality, illegal drugs, illegal gambling, and other forms of terrorism, as well as its efforts to clean its ranks.
“Your strong campaign and operations against criminality, illegal drugs, illegal gambling and other forms of terrorism, as well as the efforts of internal cleansing in the PNP, are truly commendable,” he said.
“The entire Filipino nation is truly grateful to your almost 193,000 PNP [personnel] who are currently deployed in the National Headquarters, Police Regional Offices across the country, and the various PNP National Support Units,” he added.
The PNP started as Philippine Constabulary on August 8, 1901. It was organized by the Second Philippine Commission aimed at maintaining law and order during the American period. The Philippine Constabulary eventually became the PNP on January 29, 1991, under Republic Act 6975.
“Almost three decades later, the [PNP] has evolved to become a highly capable and effective community [and] service-oriented agency,” Duterte said.