MANILA - President Aquino issued a stern warning to policemen involved in corruption and illegal activities, saying jail time awaits delinquent cops.
He issued the warning during the change of command ceremony at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters.
Aquino said that despite reforms, there are still men in uniform who bring shame to the police force, including drug users, pushers and protectors of illegal logging.
Aquino even chided policemen not wearing motorcycle helmets or driving without license.
“Sa tuwid na landas, bawal ang mga parak na nagsisiga-sigaan; bawal ang mga unipormadong pulis na nagmamaneho nang walang helmet o lisensya pa; bawal ang mga utak wang-wang na sagabal sa isinusulong nating reporma. Kung pulis kang tumatanggap ng suhol upang ipagkanulo ang kalikasan; kung pulis kang nagbubulag-bulagan sa ilegal na pagtotroso; kung pulis kang humihithit ng droga, o nagbebenta pa, o sangkot sa pagnanakaw at pangongotong, bilang na ang mga araw ninyo,” Aquino said in his speech.
“Malinaw ang atas ko, at hindi optional ang pagsunod sa batas. Oras na magkrus ang landas natin, hindi lang n’yo isu-surrender ang inyong tsapa’t uniporme. Papalitan pa natin iyan ng t-shirt na kulay orange at may malaking letrang ‘P’ sa likuran.” (APPLAUSE)
Aquino presided over the change of command at the PNP with outgoing PNP chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome turning over the reins to Deputy Director General Alan Purisima.
Aquino challenged the PNP to ensure the peaceful conduct of the elections beginning from the campaign period.
“Ang hangad natin: magsilbing bantayog ng dangal at integridad ang buong kapulisan, at matagumpay ninyong mapanatili ang kapayapaan at katahimikan, lalo na sa darating na halalan. Ito nga marahil ang unang hamon sa inyong bagong liderato: Umaasa ang taumbayan na maitataguyod natin ang kaayusan mula sa kasagsagan ng kampanya hanggang maidaos ang halalan. Ito ang layunin ng Secure and Fair Elections o SAFE 2013 na pinamumunuan mismo ni Deputy Director General Purisima,” Aquino said.
Aquino reiterated his trust and confidence in Purisima, saying he has known the new police chief since 1987 as officer of the Presidential Security Group during the administration of the President’s mother, former President Corazon Aquino.
“Marami tayong pinagdaanang mga pagsubok. Nandiyan ‘yong mga coup ng panahon ng nanay ko. Nandiyan ‘yong pareho na tayong nasa serbisyo-publiko, at humaharap at tumutugon sa problema ng bayan. Kumbaga nagkakilala na tayo, siguro… buong balahibo natin ay kilalang kilalang kilala na sa isa’t isa,” Aquino said.
“Kaya ganoon nalang ang aking tiwala na hindi tayo ni minsan nagkahiwalay sa pananaw sa kung anong tama dito sa bansa natin, na ngayon na nabigyang ng pagkakataon ay talaga namang maipapatupad na natin ‘yong mga pinanaginip natin at inaasam-asam sa ating pong bansa.”
PNOY THANKS BARTOLOME
Aquino thanked Bartolome for his service after agreeing to retire early to allow the new PNP chief to oversee preparations to secure the 2013 elections.
“Batid po ni Nic ang kahalagahan ng maigting na pagpaplano, at pagsasakatuparan ng ating mabuting adhika para sa mas nakakarami. Napaaga nga po ang kanyang pagbaba sa puwesto upang magbigay daan sa bagong lideratong nakatakdang magbantay sa darating na halalan. Kaakibat po nito ang sapat na panahon upang ihanda ang kapulisan para sa malinis at mapayapang eleksyon,” he said.
“Para kay Nic: Maraming salamat sa pagmamalasakit at pagkukusang pagsilbihan ang atin pong bayan. Mabuhay ka, Nic.”
Aquino conferred on Bartolome the Philippine Legion of honor with the rank of commander.
Bartolome said he is retiring with a heavy heart as he “could have done more” but nevertheless decided to retire early to allow the new PNP chief to prepare in securing the 2013 polls.
“The whole 15 months may not have been enough to achieve all that I have set out to do. I now stand before you fulfilled and happy with the thought that I have done my best, but with a heart made heavy with the fact that I could have done more,” Bartolome said in his remarks.
“I opted to retire early to enable the incoming chief to get his four stars soon and— with the full authority and the power that go with the rank and position— immediately get down to work particularly in overseeing the preparations for the coming local and national elections of 2013,” he added.
Bartolome enumerated his accomplishments, including the “decrease in crime rate on a national scale” and the relief of police commanders as part of his “one-strike policy” in his anti-illegal gambling campaign.
At one point, Bartolome became emotional and held back tears as he thanked police colleagues who have already retired.
“[They] filled me with great and colorful memories, battles won and lost,” Bartolome said.
Bartolome described Purisima as a “worthy successor” who has “the same heart and passion for service… dedication and commitment.”
Purisima thanked Bartolome “for paving the way for me,” vowing to continue the reforms initiated by his predecessor.
He also thanked the President and DILG Secretary Mar Roxas for the trust and confidence.
Purisima also had strong words for abusive and corrupt policemen.
“May mensahe ako sa mga kasamahan natin sa PNP na sangkot sa kasamaan at katiwalian: Umalis na kayo ngayon pa lang,” he said.
He added that his office is open to hear police personnel who may have views and suggestions to improve the police organization.
Purisima plans to implement policies that he initiated when he served as chief of the National Capital Region Police Office.
This includes the “no multitasking policy” to clearly define the role of each cop to prevent duplication of work and properly measure performance. He pointed out the practice that sees a police investigator being asked to do other things outside his job description.
Purisima also intends to replicate a system of crime reporting that accurately captures the “true” crime statistics, saying that data were “manipulated purposely” to show a lower crime rate.
Purisima justified the increase in crime rate during his time as NCRPO chief with this system of accurate crime reporting.
“In crime reporting alone, the true crime situation cannot be properly presented because crime statistics were manipulated purposely to present a low volume. Our audit showed that the crime volume was indeed higher. We need to see the true crime picture in every locality for us to determine the appropriate solution to this problem. False statistics result in costly, ineffective, and useless deployment of resources,” Purisima said in his remarks.
“Dapat ang mga ulat natin lalo na sa ating kababayan ay makatotohanan,” he added.