OFFICERS and men of the 195,000-strong Philippine National Police have thanked President Duterte for his deep commitment to eradicate illegal drugs in the country and continuously challenging them to achieve new heights in the war on drugs, crime and corruption.
Speaking in behalf of the men and women of the police force during the 118th Police Service Anniversary last week, PNP chief, General Oscar D. Albayalde took the opportunity to express the PNP’s deep gratitude to the former Davao City mayor and prosecutor for his untiring support to the PNP, particularly in the realization of their Capability Enhancement Program which was given priority only during his term.
“This program started in 2008 with only one billion pesos, and increasing to two billion pesos every year thereafter. And it is worth mentioning that under President Duterte, the program has so far received more than 22.6 billion pesos from 2016 to 2019,” said the PNP chief.
Gen. Albayalde also proudly said that with the President’s strong support, they are now preparing to align with the e-Government Master plan through their NP SMART Policing which involves harmonizing the use of technology towards the realization of Secured, Mobile, AI-driven, Real-time Technology-driven policing to deliver efficient and effective crime prevention and crime solution services.
“Through this, we hope to empower the PNP to cope with the demands and challenges that come with the digital era,” the PNP chief said in thanking the President, the Filipino people and all their stakeholders for the continuing support and trust and confidence to the police force.
The PNP chief said 118 years after it was created starting from the Insular Constabulary, the Philippine Constabulary and Integrated National Police, the country’s police force remains to be at the forefront of the nation’s campaign against crime, insurgency and terrorism.
“Crime has remained on a downtrend. And we are winning the war on illegal drugs. As I have promised since I assumed command over the PNP in April 2018, we will not relax, we will not relent, and we will fulfill our President’s vision of a drug-free Philippines,” he said.
The PNP chief said from July 1, 2016 to July 31 this year, police have conducted a total of 163,622 anti-illegal drugs operations resulting in the arrest of more than 256,000 drug personalities, the death of more than 6,000 armed suspects in police operations, and the surrender of over 1.2 million confessed drug personalities under the vaunted PNP Oplan: Tokhang.
He added that their operations against ‘high-value targets’ during the period also resulted in the arrest of 3,133, the surrender of 3,705 and the killing of 325 others following gun battles with undercover officers.
Gen. Albayalde also said out of the country’s total 42,045 barangays, more than 13,000 have been declared drug-free. “Let me assure our countrymen that all police operations against illegal drugs continue to be conducted within the bounds of the law with utmost respect for human rights,” he said.
“Our anti-illegal drugs campaign does not stop with the arrest of drug personalities. We have the Recovery and Wellness Program that offers hope, new life and a bright future for surrenderers,” he emphasized.
The PNP chief said that through this community-based recovery and out-patient wellness program, the PNP hopes to transform drug users into productive citizens of the country by providing them spiritual, psychological, physiological, economic and other forms of support to capacitate them to help rebuild their lives and restore their values.
From 2016 to July 2019, more than 435,000 surrenderers have graduated from this program, the PNP chief said.
“As we remained relentless in the war on drugs, we effectively sustained the decline in the crime rate as we intensified operations particularly against the eight focus crimes namely - murder, homicide, physical injury, rape, robbery, theft, carnapping of motor vehicles and motorcycles,” he added.
Gen. Albayalde also welcomed the latest international survey ranking the Philippines as the 24th best place to live and work, following the United States which ranked as 23rd and ahead of China which ranked as 26th.