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Duterte orders new PNP chief to pin down criminals, illegal drugs

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday renewed his call on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to continue the fight against criminals and illegal drugs in accordance with the law.

Duterte made this challenge in his speech during the PNP Change of Command ceremony for outgoing Chief Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa and incoming Director General Oscar Albayalde at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

“Just do your job in accordance with the requirements of the law in destroying and perhaps killing the criminals. I will be there for you,” Duterte said, adding he would not allow any military and police personnel “to go to jail unjustly for performing his duties.”

“In return, I ask the brave men and women of the PNP to continue performing their duties well, especially as we further intensify our war against criminality, illegal drugs, terrorism, and other threats to the security of our nation, our communities, our homes and our families,” the President said.

Duterte reiterated his personal commitment to pin down drugs and organized crimes “until the last day in office.”

“If we do not strive to put a stop to it, destroy and neutralize the infrastructure of drugs and the men and women behind it, we would have failed the nation,” he said.

The President said his administration would never allow the sacrifice of police officers, including the 44 Special Action Forces (SAF) personnel who died in Mamasapano incident in 2015 “to be taken for granted.

“This government will give its full support to our uniformed personnel by enhancing their capabilities, modernizing their equipment, promoting their welfare and take care of their families,” he said.

The President commended Dela Rosa for a job well done during the latter’s 21-month tour of duty as PNP chief.

“It gives me great pleasure to join you today as we pay tribute to Director General Ronald Dela Rosa’s exemplary career as a police officer and his successful tour of duty as Chief of the Philippine National Police,” Duterte said.

Under Dela Rosa’s term, the PNP had cut down the total crime volume nationwide by 22 percent and recorded 10 percent improvement in the crime solution efficiency.

The anti-illegal drug operations netted arrests of more than 130,000 drug suspects, 1.2 million drug personalities surrendered and confiscated P23 billion worth of illegal drugs.

“I also note General Dela Rosa’s crusade of cleaning the ranks of the PNP from within. Through his internal cleansing efforts, we were able to weed out scalawags who have long hampered the efficiency of our police force,” the President said.

Duterte appointed Dela Rosa as next chief of the Bureau of Corrections.

“I’d like to just issue a warning that those policemen engaged in drugs, kidnap for ransom and other crimes, Dela Rosa will be the one who will welcome you at the Bilibid,” he said.

For Albayalde, Duterte said the appointment of the new PNP chief was based on his credentials.

“If you have someone to thank, that is God who gave you the life until now to survive the rigors of your occupation as a law enforcer and the most telling sir is the recommendation or endorsement, believe it or not, from your fellow policemen,” the President said.

The President said he was confident that Albayalde could further build on PNP’s gains and “create a more peaceful, just and harmonious society.” #