Korea donates over 130 police patrol cars to PH
The Korean Embassy and the Korean Police National Agency have turned over more than 130 police patrol cars to the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday afternoon.
Korean Ambassador Han Dong-man led the turnover of 49 Hyundai Elantra cars and 81 Starex vans to PNP chief Director Oscar Albayalde at the QCPD grandstand in Camp Karingal in Quezon City.
Of the 81 units of Starex vans, 49 are marked as PNP vehicles.
In an interview with reporters, Albayalde admitted there are a shortage of cars for the PNP, with some stations in the National Capital Region which do not have police car or even a motorbike.
The donations are part of the “Enhancing the Criminal Investigation Capability of the Philippine National Police” project, a joint agreement between the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Korean Embassy in 2014.
The Korean Embassy, through the Korea International Cooperation Agency, provided a fund of $6.6 million dollars for the six-year project starting 2015.
The project aims to promote a safer and more secure environment conducive to national development and a stronger relationship between Korea and the Philippines, Dong-man said.
In his speech, Dong-man said the cars are meant to help maintain peace and order in Metro Manila, and intensify the criminal investigation and security management capacity of the PNP.
Dong-man said the donations are also a form of gratitude for the heroism of more than 7,000 Filipino soldiers during the Korean war in 1950.
“Since then, the Korea and Philippines have deepened our close times in many different sectors for almost 70 years. There is no doubt Korea would be enjoying peace, democracy, prosperity without the help of the Filipino veterans. It’s time for Korea to pay its debt,” the ambassador said.
“A friend in need is a friend indeed,” he added.
Drop in killings of Korean nationals
Meanwhile, Dong-man said the crime has decreased in the Philippines under the administration of Duterte.
An average of 10 Korean nationals were killed in the Philippines in previous years but it dropped to only one last year.
“Unfortunately, there were two Korean nationals killed in Caloocan and Cebu this year so I asked Albayalde to create a special task force to investigate and arrest the criminals,” he said.
Dong-man said he has promised President Duterte to bring in at least 2 million tourists to the country, but he also asked Duterte, who will soon be visiting Korea, to ensure the safety and security of the Korean nationals.
KNPA Commissioner General Lee Chul-Sung said the donations symbolize the bilateral peace cooperation between Korea and the Philippines.
“I expect these Korean vehicles to be reinforcing the capacity of the PNP,” he said, adding that the KNPA also pledges to pursue a variety of efforts to make the PNP stronger.
Receiving the Korean Embassy officials were Interior and local government undersecretary for peace and order Bernardo Florece Jr., PNP chief Oscar Albayalde and QCPD director Chief Supt Joselito Esquivel, and the other police chiefs of Metro Manila.
The units will be distributed to the PNP directorate for the investigation and management, criminal investigation and detective group, anti-kidnapping and anti-cybercrime group of the PNP and city police offices in areas in Cebu, Lapu Lapu, Mandate, Davao and Baguio where there are a large number of Korean communities, said Albayalde.
In a statement, Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc CEO and President Ma Fe Perez-Agudo said the patrol units come with special safety features such as LED search and warning lights, safety screens, dashboard cameras, mobile radio casings, rear safety films and multifunction signal bars to aid the PNP in their rigorous police operations. /vvp
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.