Marcos tells PNP to be 'reasonable, justifiable' in use of force

Raffy Cabristante, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 08 2022 01:18 PM | Updated as of Aug 08 2022 03:33 PM

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MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday reminded the Philippine National Police (PNP) to ensure that there is a "reasonable" and "justifiable" use of force in the performance of its duties.

"The use of force must always be reasonable, justifiable, and only undertaken when necessary," Marcos said in his speech at the 121st anniversary celebration of the PNP.

"Execution of authority must be fair, must be impartial, it must be devoid of favoritism or discrimination regardless of race, gender, socio-economic status, political affiliation, religious beliefs and the like," he added.

It is only through these, Marcos said, that the PNP can attain respect and support from the public. 

"Given the gravity, the seriousness, the difficulty of the responsibility and relative influence that you carry, it is a must that the application of your mandate is firmly grounded on moral principles, integrity and accountability and honesty to ensure continued public rapport and support from the public for the PNP," the President added. 

Marcos made the statement about a week after he rejected rejoining the International Criminal Court (ICC), which could reopen its investigation into thousands of killings under police anti-drug operations during the previous Duterte administration. 
 
Former President Rodrigo Duterte had told police officers to shoot suspects if their lives were at risk and said the drug war prevented the Philippines from becoming a "narco-state." 

He pulled the Philippines out of the ICC in 2019 after it launched a preliminary probe into his narcotics crackdown. 

The ICC last year authorized a full probe, which it suspended 2 months later, based on Manila's request. Last June, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan sought to resume the inquiry, saying the Philippine request was unjustified. 

"The Philippines has no intention of rejoining the ICC," Marcos, who won the May elections with his predecessor's daughter Vice President Sara Duterte, said last Aug. 1. 

During Monday's event, Marcos also congratulated newly appointed PNP chief Lt. Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr., saying that he is confident that the 220,000-strong organization will gain public trust under its new leadership. 

"Chief PNP Gen. Azurin’s able governance will serve as the impetus that would further develop and strengthen the PNP in its resolve to promote good will and harmony in the heart of our motherland," he said.

"His program Malasakait, Kapayapaan, Maayusan, Tungo sa Kaunlaran at Kasimbayanan will pave the way to this end. Its success will bring forth an even higher vote of confidence in the reliability, dependability and trustworthiness of the PNP in the eyes of the public."