07 August 2015

President Aquino instructs National Police to ensure peaceful, orderly 2016 elections
President Benigno S. Aquino III on Friday asked members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to ensure orderly and peaceful elections next year as the country chooses new leaders.”Ngayong nalalapit na ang halalan, muli na namang susukatin ang dekalidad na serbisyo ng ating mga pulis,” the President said during his speech at the 114th Police Service Anniversary at Camp Crame.

“Ang hamon at atas ko sa inyo: Siguraduhin na patas, payapa at makatarungan ang magiging pagpili ng susunod na pinuno ng ating mga Boss. Pinaigting na natin ang ating pagkilos upang mabuwag ang mga Private Armed Groups, at iba pang banta para lang gamitin ang halalan sa kanilang pansariling interes.”

The President said he expects the police force to be non-partisan during the elections and to carry out its mandate well by putting public welfare before anything else.

The government does not want to compromise the country’s future by catering to the interests of the few, he said.

“Alam kong patuloy ninyong tatahakin ang landas na makatuwiran at makakabuti sa ating mga Boss,” the President told the members of the PNP.

With less than a year in office, President Aquino said that before he completes his term, he wants the PNP to be part of a just, peaceful and progressive society.

Acknowledging the police’s role in ensuring the country’s welfare, the President said he expects the PNP to stand united in serving the people and in defending what is right.

“Sa bawat pagkakataon, itaguyod ninyo ang isang PNP na laging tumototoo sa kapwa, sinasagad ang kakayahan para itaguyod ang kapakanan ng mga Pilipino, ngayon at ng mga susunod pang henerasyon,” he said.

The PNP celebrates the Police Service Anniversary every August 8 to commemorate the joint founding anniversaries of its forerunner organizations — the Philippine Constabulary, which was founded in 1901, and the Integrated National Police, which was established in 1975.

During the event, the President also led the presentation of awards to outstanding PNP units and personnel.

President Aquino was accompanied by Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II and Police Director General Ricardo Marquez during the awarding rites. PND (as)

Reforms in police force will continue, says President Aquino
President Benigno S. Aquino III on Friday renewed his administration’s commitment to purge the police force of erring members to improve its image.“Sa ating pamamahala, tinatapos na natin ang maliligayang sandali ng mga scalawag sa inyong ahensiya. Desidido tayong linisin ang inyong hanay, at itira lamang ang mga tunay at tapat na lingkod-bayan,” the President said in his speech during the 114th Police Service Anniversary, held in Camp Crame.

“Sa kabilang banda, binibigyan natin ng insentibo ang mga nagpapamalas ng husay at gilas sa serbisyo. Itataguyod natin ang kultura sa kapulisan kung saan nasa sarili ninyong kamay ang inyong pag-angat,” he said, adding that he wants the police organization to be trustworthy and reliable.

The administration is also working to eliminate corruption in the Philippine National Police (PNP), for instance in the procurement of guns, the Chief Executive said.

As the country’s president, he said he provides the PNP its needs within the means of the government.

He noted that in his 6th State of the Nation Address last week, he mentioned the achievement of a 1:1 police-to-pistol ratio, the first time in PNP history, as well as the use of a Crime Incident Recording System, which has improved the documentation of crimes in the country.

The installation of hundreds of CCTV cameras in different parts of the National Capital Region that are considered crime hot spots, has also enabled the police to respond quickly to victims of crimes, he added.

And as part of modernization in the police force, the government has approved the purchase of 2,523 patrol jeeps, 577 utility vehicles, 5,736 motorcycles, 29,266 handheld radios, and 3,328 investigative kits, the President reported.

“Bukod sa pagpapalakas pa ng puwersa at pagpapaunlad sa kakayahan ng inyong hanay, tinututukan din natin ang inyong mga personal na pangangailangan,” the President said, noting that almost 25,000 housing units have been allocated to qualified members of the PNP.

The government, he said, is also improving the pension system of uniformed personnel to ensure their welfare after they leave the service.

“Nakita naman po natin na karapat-dapat lamang sa mga benepisyong ito ang mga nagmamalasakit sa bayan,” he said.
“Kung mananatili ang mataas ninyong morale sa serbisyo, pihado namang mapapanatili, kundi man mahihigitan, ang nakamit na ninyong mga tagumpay.”

Aside from leading the Police Service Anniversary, the President also presented awards to members of the PNP for exemplary service rendered to the public. PND (as)

Those accused in third batch of pork barrel scam cases deserve due process, says Palace official
The 40 people charged on Friday with misusing public funds, including nine incumbent and former lawmakers, deserve due process of the law, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. has said.

“Now that the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) has filed charges against incumbent and former members of Congress for alleged misuse of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations, it is the task of the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate and assess the merits of such allegations. Public interest requires that the ends of justice are served, while affording due process to the respondents,” Secretary Coloma said in a statement issued on Friday.

The NBI on Friday filed the third batch of pork barrel scam cases involving 40 people, among them nine incumbent and former lawmakers, at the Office of the Ombudsman, citing them for “malversation, direct bribery, and graft and corrupt practices”.

Those accused of obtaining “kickbacks” from alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles were Senator Gregorio Honasan (P1.75 million); Manila 5th District Representative Amado Bagatsing (P600,000); Abono Party-List Representative Conrado Estrella III (P45 million); former Abono Party-List representative Robert Raymond Estrella (P22.68 million); former La Union 1st District representative Manuel Ortega (P14.35 million); La Union 1st District Representative Victor Francis Ortega (P9.59 million); former Zamboanga del Sur 1st District representative Isidro Real, Jr. (P3.25 million); Cagayan de Oro and 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez (P2.09 million); and former Cibac Party-List representative, currently Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Secretary Joel Villanueva (P2.3 million).

Also charged were officials of the National Agribusiness Corporation, Technology Resource Center, and National Livelihood Development Center.

These are the implementing agencies of the alleged ghost projects funded using the lawmakers’ PDAF.

“We reaffirm our commitment to the principles of good governance and impartial justice,” Coloma said. PND (ag)

The Office of the President did not select police awardees, says Palace
The Office of the President had no participation in the selection of police officers and individuals who were given recognition during the 114th Police Service Anniversary held on Friday, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. has said.

Secretary Coloma was responding to news reports that the names of two Special Action Force (SAF) operatives included in the original list of awardees were removed a day before the ceremony, supposedly at the instruction of the Presidential Management Staff.

According to reports, Police Officer 2 Romeo Cempron was to be conferred the Medalya ng Kagitingan, and Police Superintendent Raymond Train the Medalya ng Kabayanihan.

“According to the PNP (Philippine National Police), the evaluation process for the proposed giving of the Medal of Valor, which is ‘the highest award that can be bestowed to any member of the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, requires a lengthy process and a thorough evaluation, for which reason the review could not be completed on time despite our best efforts’,” the Palace official said in a statement issued on Friday.

In a statement issued after the ceremony, the PNP said they still need to study thoroughly the granting of the service medals to Cempron and Train, as these medals are among the highest service medals that could be presented to police and military officials.

“We also initially intended to honor the courage and sacrifice displayed by some of those involved in ‘Oplan Exodus’, which was the reason why the Committee on Individual Awards chaired by the Directorate for Personnel and Records Management deliberated and processed some of those who participated in the operations,” PNP spokesperson, Chief Superintendent Wilben Mayor, said in a press briefing.

“It requires a lengthy process and a thorough evaluation for which reason the review could not be completed on time despite our best efforts. For these reasons, these awards were not included in the program today,” he added.

Last January, SAF operatives conducted an operation to arrest Malaysian terror suspect Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan, and Filipino bomb-making expert, Abdul Basit Usman in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. While the operation succeeded in neutralizing Marwan, some 44 members of the SAF perished after an encounter with members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and private armed groups. PND (ag)