Duterte urges cops ‘to do good’ amid scalawags in uniform
By Jelly Musico
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) – President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday urged the police to keep on doing good deeds and protect the Filipino people from threat of illegal drugs and criminality despite scalawags in uniform who are hampering their efficiency.
“You know, the police can be very good if they want to be good,” Duterte said in his speech during the 117th Anniversary of the Philippine National Police (PNP) at the Camp Crame in Quezon City.
The celebration themed: Pagbabago sa Hanay ng Pulisya, Hatid ay Ligtas na Pamayanan Laban sa Korupsyon, Krimen, at Iligal na Droga, was highlighted by the awarding ceremony for 28 police officers and units for their outstanding contributions in the government’s fight against corruption, criminality, errant police personnel, and trade of illegal drugs.
“Do not waste the feeling of being great as a Filipino, proud of the police,” the President told the PNP personnel and officers.
Duterte described event as a milestone of the PNP’s success in cleansing the organization of scalawags “who hamper the PNP’s efficiency in performing its mandate to enforce the law and serve our people”.
“Your performance in the past two years speak well of your efforts in instituting reforms from within your ranks,” Duterte said.
“May this occasion inspire you and even more to continue to persist in your noble mission to protect our people and uphold the rule of law at all times,” he added.
He said the PNP’s commitment and dedication to do good has resulted in the apprehension of nearly 160,000 illegal drug personalities and resolution of over 6,000 of administrative cases “as part of your efforts to cleanse your ranks”.
“Furthermore, we have achieved a total crime solution efficiency rate of 72.13 percent and that’s why I salute you because I believe in you,” Duterte said.
Duterte said the police force has earned the respect of the Filipino people “due to your persistent efforts to fulfill your mandate to maintain law and order across the country.”
“You have a very happy population na nagkaroon pa ng parang utang na loob sa inyo at tama naman (that have now debt of gratitude to you and rightly so). And during the days of your need, you had the support of the Filipino people,” he said.
Duterte reiterated his commitment to protect policemen who perform their duties “in accordance with the law”.
“When your life is in danger, you stick to the law, never mind the idiots about the human rights, they cannot help you. But I will be here, I will as a President. I will never allow you to go to jail. Just do your duty, wala kayong isipin (You have nothing to worry),” he said.
Duterte, a former prosecutor, said he will also hire lawyers for policemen who were charged with cases for performing their duties.
“I will provide a lawyer. And I will see to it that he will defend you on the principles of performance of duty or self-defense. Both are grounds for a criminal exemption,” the President said.
The Commander-in-Chief assured that he will do his best to promote the welfare of uniformed personnel and their families.
“Since you put your lives on the line to serve our country and people, it is only just and fair — just fair that the government takes care of you as well,” he said.
The President, however, warned that he will not hesitate to go after police scalawags who continued to destroy the image of the PNP.
“I do not want a police force that’s corrupt. If you are into drugs, the possibility is great that I will be after you. And I said you might lose your pants including your life,” he said.
Last Tuesday, Duterte berated 102 errant policemen particularly those who are involved in kidnap for ransom, illegal drugs and robbery extortion in Malacañang Palace.
Duterte said he will not hesitate to kill police scalawags if they will not stop from committing wrongdoings.
“May I just also remind you that we have a policy. We do not destroy nations. We protect and serve our nations. We have to prepare the world of our descendants for tomorrow,” Duterte said.
“If we cannot do something now on drugs, your grandchildren will suffer and we would have left a life and a nation to them that is still in shambles” he added.
Duterte said his administration has done a lot to improve the welfare of the policemen such as the 100 percent increase on their net take home pay.
He said his government has allotted PHP2 billion for the PNP Capability Enhancement Plan.
“I would like to emphasize that the PNP has the government’s full support and this administration is fully committed to enhance your capabilities,” Duterte said.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, he said, is working on the possibility of leasing “some of the prime properties” for the policemen.
The President also announced that he is giving PHP25 million for medicines and other healthcare services for PNP.
“I will never turn my back. All that I ask is that we serve our country the utmost good faith. Do not go into corruption. If you think that you cannot survive with the salary, then you are free to go,” he said.
He told the policemen that if they feel he is destroying the country and not doing well as leader of the country, they can tell him “Mayor, it’s time for you to go”.
“And I will step down. No need for this ruckus about tanks and everything,” Duterte said.
“But for the meantime that I am here, I said, I am a co-worker just like you. Let us help each other. Your duty and mine is to preserve the Republic and to protect the people,” he added. (PNA)