Fearing the expanding influence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, (ISIS), President Rodrigo Roa Duterte wants the Philippine National Police (PNP) to establish additional counter-terrorism units to make communities more secure.
US authorities have reported the resurgence of ISIS in Syria following the defeat of the caliphate in the Middle East. It is feared that foreign fighters who have fought along with ISIS will return to their home countries to spread radicalism and launch terror attacks.
“I may just also remind you that we are facing so many fronts. I need more soldiers. I would need about…an additional of seven to 10 SAF [Special Action Force] troopers,” President Duterte said in a speech during the oath taking of star rank PNP officers in Malacañang on Thursday.
“Kasi palaki nang palaki ang problema. We thought all the while that it would somehow wane…medyo hihina na. Apparently, with the migration…a lot of ISIS leaders in the Southeast Asia, we will have terrorism. Ang tinatakutan ko ‘yung ginagawa nila.”
He suggested that the PNP, under Police Gen. Oscar Albayalde, should start the project immediately.
“I need about 10 more. Kayong talagang…talagang gasgasin ninyo nang husto ‘yung sundalo para we can meet the coming dangers ahead,” he said, highlighting the necessity of organizing more police units.
Members of the New People’s Army are also threat to the country’s security, according to the President. He reported, however, about the interest of the NPA’s top echelons for a renewed talks with the government following an impasse.
“I don’t know but they are insisting on resuming the talks and ‘yung iba, I will not mention the name, they want to come home to talk. Sabi ko okay lang,” the President said. The communist leaders are Luis Jalandoni and Fidel Agcaoili.
Closer community relations
Witnessing the reaffirmation of commitment to service of the 38 newly promoted star rank officers of the PNP, the President urged them to rekindle their pledges as civil servants and protectors of the people as they take bigger responsibilities.
He encouraged the new police officers to foster improved relations with the communities they serve to inspire the people to actively participate in nation-building.
“I urge you to uphold the highest ethical standards in your profession even as you strive to remain firm in controlling order and the rule of law, preventing and controlling again crimes, and the order of our nation,” President Duterte told the new star rank police officers.
“More than ever, we need our uniformed personnel to go beyond reproach and filled with dedication as we push for genuine and lasting reforms in government,” he added.
President Duterte likewise asked them to become remarkable officers who would motivate the youth with their upright example while reassuring them that the administration fully supports the PNP’s vision to become a highly capable, effective, and credible police force.
At the same time, the President recognized PNP’s efforts to improve its capability, asking its members to work with his administration in the crucial task of eradicating criminality and corruption in the country.
Also present during the event were Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año and PNP Chief Police Gen. Oscar Albayalde.
Meanwhile, President Duterte raised the reward money to P6 million for the neutralization of the killers of four police officers in Negros Oriental. The slayings drew the ire of the President after investigations revealed that the police intelligence officers were tortured before they were murdered.
“So at this time, it is P6 million. Irrespective police or civilian, kung sinong makatiklo niyan, P6 million na ‘yan,” he said. PND