MANILA, Philippines --- Obedience to law is not optional.
President Benigno S. Aquino III stressed this yesterday after installing Deputy Director General Alan Purisima as the new Philippine National Police (PNP) chief in change of command ceremonies in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
The President warned erring policemen that he will not hesitate to send them to jail.
Speaking before members of the PNP, President Aquino emphasized that men in uniform should be for “tuwid na daan” (straight path), a policy the PNP leadership under his administration has been observing.
The President noted that he is aware that there are still some erring PNP personnel who taint the image of the PNP.
“We will not let those who are supposed to be public servants to be instigators of a crime,” Aquino said in Filipino.
“My directive is clear and obedience to law is not optional. The moment our paths cross, you will not just surrender your uniform but I will make sure that it will be replaced by an orange T-shirt with a big letter ‘P’ on the back,” he added.
He then urged each and every PNP personnel to start a culture of honor and heroism among their ranks.
The President, meanwhile, thanked the men and women in uniform who assisted during the rescue and relief operations in Mindanao following the onslaught of typhoon “Pablo.”
He said the PNP has contributed a total of P7.5 million from the P50 contribution from each PNP personnel. He also lauded some PNP units that canceled their Christmas parties this year to show their solidarity with the victims of the typhoon.
He said the administration, for its part, continues to conduct reforms in the PNP, noting that each PNP personnel would be able to possess a gun by 2013. The Phase II of the housing program will also be completed by August 2013 to provide PNP personnel, as well soldiers, firefighters, additional 31,200 housing units.
President Aquino, meanwhile, thanked Bartolome for his selfless and dedicated leadership in the PNP, noting his initiatives such as the one-strike policy and the PNP Peace and Order Agenda for Transformation and Upholding of the Rule of Law or PNP P.A.T.R.O.L Plan 2030.
President Aquino said he is confident that Purisima, once a member of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) during the time of the late former President Corazon C. Aquino, would be able to continue the reforms in the PNP.
Purisima said he wants policemen to stick to their respective areas of specialization, arguing that swamping lawmen with various jobs prevents them from mastering any task.
He noted that in the past, accomplishments of certain tasks were delayed because the policemen assigned to do them had been ordered to do another job even before he could finish the first tasks ones assigned to them.
“Many were not trained enough to do the job they are performing and in most cases, investigations were bungled, and operations were mismanaged which only serve to tarnish the image of the police service. In recording such irregularities, there were no clear and established processes,” said Purisima.
“So we will start with ‘no multi-tasking policy and system’ in all the police units of the PNP. So if you are an investigator, you should only concentrate on the cases, in the same way that policemen assigned to do patrol duties should only concentrate on doing security rounds in communities,” he added.
“In this way, we will be assured that our policemen will all acquire expertise of the tasks assigned to them. This system defines the role of each and every policeman, a role for every position that shall contribute to the overall attainment of the unit’s mission,” said Purisima.