PNP chief: 2015 a ‘challenging year’ with successful accomplishments
It has been a challenging year for the Philippine National Police (PNP) with the death of its 44 men in a high-risk mission in Mamasapano, Maguindanao against Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli Bin Hir also known as “Marwan” almost a year ago.
READ: New Mamasapano lead eyed
However, the father of the 160,000-strong police force encouraged the men and women of the PNP to prove to the nation that they will never be outfought.
“My fellow officers and personnel of the PNP, let us outdo ourselves in 2016, and once again prove to the nation that we are indeed never outfought,” Director General Ricardo Marquez told the ranking officers of the PNP during their New Year’s call on the PNP chief on Tuesday.
In a speech at Camp Crame, Marquez said that although the PNP’s year was “marred with tragedy,” 2015 was also a year of achievements and victories for the PNP.
“It was a year marred with tragedy as we walked in grief over the fate of our fallen SAF (Special Action Force) 44 brothers in Mamasapano, and of our other brothers in uniform who lost their lives while in service to God, country and people. But it was also a year of achievements and victories as our gallant men and women refused defeat and marched on with heads high against crime and lawlessness,” he said.
Pope Francis, Apec
In addition, Marquez cited the PNP’s successful security coverage of Pope Francis’ five-day visit to the Philippines last January 2015.
He lauded the 30,000 uniformed personnel who guarded the Pope’s route in Manila and Tacloban.
“We replicated this feat in the same year as we effectively addressed the security, peace and order, and emergency preparedness requirements of 44 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings held in nine sites including the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Manila, and ensuring compliance to the President’s ‘zero incident’ directive,” said Marquez.
PNP was the lead agency of the national security task force for the series of Apec meetings held in Manila last November 2015.
The said international event was attended by top world leaders including United States President Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
However, as the Papal visit and the Apec ended, the PNP is preparing for another event—the 51st International Eucharistic Congress to be held in Cebu City—where several religious leaders are expected to attend on January 24 to 31.
“We concluded the year successfully as we put in place the security operations for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu City. These were achievements that brought to the fore the PNP’s powerful mix of intelligence, operations and police-community relations strategies which ultimately brought honor to the country in the eyes of the international community,” said Marquez.
Marquez also trumpeted the gains of “Oplan Lambat Sibat,” an anti-crime strategy initiated by former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.
“In 2015, we put in place ‘Oplan Lambat-Sibat’ as a potent weapon against crime and lawlessness, drastically reducing crime incidents in Metro Manila and replicating this in other regions. We effectively addressed the challenge posed by the worsening traffic congestion in the metropolis as we deployed well-trained traffic police personnel in EDSA and other areas. We brought the war against illegal drugs to the barangay (village) level sending a strong signal to drug lords and their cohorts that the police meant business. And we welcomed the establishment of the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group as a national operational support unit, further empowering our fight against the illegal drug menace,” he said.
“We did all these and more, even as we continued to train and educate our personnel to empower them better, and equip our police units to enhance and strengthen their move, shoot, communicate and investigate capabilities,” said Marquez.
The PNP chief also urged the command group, the directorial staff and the leaders of national support units to put “more flesh and substance” to the plans and programs of the PNP that “will cover every possible aspect of police work in 2016 and beyond.”
“I thus ask our Command Group, the Directorial Staff and all units to waste no time in completing this endeavor. Let this be our legacy to the next generation of personnel who will inherit this organization. Inspired by our achievements, encouraged by continuing challenges, and armed with the lessons of the past year, let us now continue to rid our streets and communities of criminal elements as we step up the war against crime more viciously and decisively this time, and win the community over to the side of peace with more relevant and compassionate public safety services,” he said. RAM
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