PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte yesterday commended newly-retired Philippine National Police chief, General Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan for doing a fine job in leading the 205,000-strong police force over the past 69 days and at the same time called on the 25th PNP chief, Gen. Debold M. Sinas to do better amid the new normal.
Interior and Local Government Eduardo Año said he and President Rodrigo Duterte completely trust Sinas, a product of Philippine Military Academy ‘Hinirang’ Class of 1987 to do better in realizing the vision of a credible, trustworthy and effective police force.
“Take up the mantle of the noble police chiefs who came before you and follow in their steps. As you strive to meet the responsibilities expected of you, intensify the fight against illegal drugs, criminality, extremist groups, communist bandits and terrorists and help lead not only the PNP but also this nation towards a better normal,” he said.
The DILG chief said Sinas is bound to much more challenging tasks in leading the police force. “May you uphold the standards of performance and discipline in this beloved institution by setting a good example among the men and women of the police service. This way, you will be able to etch your own mark in history’s annals as one of the great PNP Chiefs,” he said.
Año also called on all members of the police force to do their own share of building a ‘culture of honor and discipline’ in the country so that “the mere sight of a police officer sends shivers to the crooks and criminals and at the same time evokes a feeling of safety and security among the populace.”
The Commander-in-Chief cited Cascolan, a member of PMA ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986, for leading the force to encompass character of excellence, discipline and professionalism that will be remembered by every individual.
He particularly paid tribute to Cascolan for helping the PNP weather many challenges and trials, in the process winning the public’s trust and confidence.
Año, who represented the President during the change of command ceremony between Generals Cascolan and Sinas also showered the retired top cop with praises.
“When Gen. Cascolan took command of the 205,000-strong men and women of the PNP, our police forces were pressed on every side by problems caused by COVID-19. Already beset by this pandemic, the PNP also faced a host of other threats perpetuated by enemies that broiled in the cesspool of illegal drugs, criminality, insurgency and terrorism,” said Año.
“Dagdag pa rito ang matinding pagsubok na dala ng hagupit ng bayong Rolly sa ating bansa kamakailan lamang. With families desperately clamoring for help, our PNP personnel, alongside government and civil society organizations, responded to the people’s needs while keeping the public order in affected communities,” he added.
Año said that the entire country was a witness to how Cascolan led the PNP amid the great challenges over the past two months.
“But in spite of the encumbering weight of these suffocating predicaments, we witnessed how Chief Cascolan led the PNP to dig its heels firmly to the ground and refused to be knocked down by the unrelenting trials. And it was because of this tenacity that the Philippine National Police continues to prove they indeed are one of the society’s pillars of discipline and compassion during periods of great uncertainties,” the DILG chief said.
Año particularly credited Cascolan for launching programs that prevented crimes and malicious activities nationwide, leading to a 46 percent drop in focus crimes over the past two months.
“Thus, with criminals, illegal drug peddlers, communist insurgents and terrorist groups now more fearful of the bite of the law, not only have we gained traction in earning the trust of the Filipino citizenry, but we have also improved the image of the Philippine National Police in the eyes of the international community.
This is evidenced by the Gallup 20 Global Law and Order Survey which revealed that the Philippines is among the top 50 safest countries in the world, obtaining an index score of 84 along with Australia, New Zealand, Poland and Serbia,” he said.