MANILA - President Aquino praised Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and the Philippine National Police (PNP) leadership for the institution's changing image.
This, a day after armed robbers struck again in a shopping mall. Roxas and the PNP have been blamed by some quarters for an increase in crime.
"Batid naman po ninyo ang nagbabagong mukha ng serbisyong pampubliko sa ating bansa. Kabilang nga po sa nanguna sa transpormasyong ito ay ang inyong liderato, sa pamumuno ng kagalang-galang Kalihim Mar Roxas ng Department of the Interior and Local Government. Sa mabuting pamamahala, tinatapos natin ang panahon ng agam-agam dahil sa kakulangan sa armas at kagamitan,” he said.
Aquino was guest speaker at the 35th commencement exercises of the PNP Mandilaab Class.
The event was also attended by Roxas' political rival, Vice President Jejomar Binay. Binay beat Roxas in the 2010 vice-presidential election.
Another face-off between the two in 2016 is possible. Binay has announced his political plans, while Roxas has not.
PNoy takes another swipe at GMA
Aquino also took another swipe at the Arroyo administration as he called on graduates of the PNP Academy to stick to his "daang matuwid."
In his speech, Aquino also said, "Hindi kayo magiging pulis na magmamaneho nang walang lisensya o magpapasimuno ng tong-pats; hindi ninyo hahayaan ang sariling maging kasangkapan sa pagtakas ng preso, o kaya ay maging bumberong usad-pagong kung sumaklolo pagkatapos ng negosasyon.”
Aquino added, "Siguro po, mayroon pa sa inyong nakakaalala ng dinatnan nating imahen ng pulis, warden, at bumbero. Sa loob ng matagal na panahon, nakulong sa ganitong sitwasyon ang inyong hanay; pinaasa kayo sa ‘baka sakali,’ sinanay kayo sa ‘puwede na rin 'yan,’ at pinaniwala pa kayong ‘brand new yata 'yan,’ samantalang second-hand naman pala, kung suwerte pa tayo. Ang resulta: mababang kalidad ng serbisyo, at mga buhay ninyong lalong nailalagay sa peligro."
The Aquino administration filed corruption charges against former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo and Arroyo-era PNP officials for the allegedly anomalous purchase of 2nd hand choppers.
The commencement exercise saw the graduation of 202 cadets.
Ten of them are female.
Of the number, 187 will join the PNP, 10 will join the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, 5 will join the Bureau of Fire Protection. “Mandilaab” stands for “mandirigmang may dangal at isipan laan para sa bayan.”
The top 10 graduates are police cadets: Glenn Tabo Santelices, Bryan John Dayag, Allan Benedict Ramos, Ermelo Garcia Dichoso, Jade Rivera Gamboa, Andy Ray Asturias Geronilla, Michael John Luciano Verzosa, Jayson Rey Sadueste Florein, Robin Llanes Martin, Ian Marc Serrano Polestico.