Speech by President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. at the 121st Police Service Anniversary

Speeches 8 August 2022

House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez; Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez; Interior [Please take your seats.] Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr.; Secretary of Presidential Management Staff Maria Zenaida Angping; Special Assistant to the President Secretary Antonio F. Lagdameo; other members of the Cabinet; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

First and foremost, allow me to congratulate our very own, the Philippine National Police, commanded by Chief PNP Police General Rodolfo Santos Azurin Jr. on its momentous 121st Police Anniversary. [applause]

The commemoration of the Police Anniversary is important because we commemorate the historic beginning of organized police service in the country more than a century ago today. And at the same time, we acknowledge the outstanding work of the brave men and women of the PNP who labored tirelessly and to make sure that peace and harmony prevail throughout our country.

Not only has the PNP managed to continue its relevance to date, it has also maintained its integrity and moral ascendancy to faithfully perform its mandate to the nation and for our people.

I commend all of you for a job well done — a great deal of respect you deserve for your accomplishments. Mabuhay kayong lahat sa ating mga kapulisan. [applause]

This morning is particularly significant because I stand before this group of law enforcement officers whose sacrifices and service to the Republic remain unrivaled. It is impressive the selfless acts of bravery and self-sacrifice that you, your families, your men, your troops, and all of those in the armed services serving in the Philippine National Police have gone through and continue to do so, putting your lives on the line as you perform your duties and responsibilities 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The tremendous risks and often unseen danger attached to your line of work are immensely daunting for many and yet without hesitation, the PNP continues to pursue its calling to serve and to protect others.

Aside from maintaining peace and order which is the most important of all your tasks, you also have to attend to the more traditional duties commonly assigned to our law enforcers but have become a very large part and the important part of your work: assisting in vehicular traffic, addressing emergency situations, investigating crimes, serving warrants, apprehending law violators, implementing educational outreach programs, introducing and teaching crime prevention and resolution, and many more related endeavors that are specific only to the PNP because the PNP exists within the body politic. You are our frontline to the public.

To be honest, for the work that you do, I am more than convinced that police service is a calling that not everyone is capable of rendering as it requires a moral standard that is usually inherent in our being and demands enormous commitment and responsibility that sometimes admittedly are difficult to endure.

From the birth of the Philippine Police Service in 1901 to date, this institution has gone through many tough challenges along the way as it continues to march forward relentlessly pursuing safety, security, and peace for everyone to enjoy and relish as we go about our daily lives.

As police officers, many of you have manifested the important values that must be inherent in the conduct and execution of your duties. 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, accountability, and honesty to ensure continued public rapport and support from the public for the PNP.

For instance, the use of force must always be reasonable, justifiable, and only undertaken when necessary. Execution of authority must be fair, it must be impartial, it must be devoid of favoritism or discrimination regardless of race, gender, socio-economic status, political affiliation, religious belief, and the like.

It is only then that you can effectively sustain with great respect and wide support the authority that you possess as uniformed servicemen of the Republic.

This is what I consider good governance and I am proud to say that you have done well and continue to do so in this regard.

You have proven you are worthy of the uniform that you sport in the office that you represent, especially during these terrible times when disorder and lawlessness occur anytime because of many other serious concerns in our society. Many, most in fact, not of our doing, but they are what currently confront us.

Against this backdrop, I would like to convey my sincerest appreciation to the newly installed 28th Chief of the Philippine National Police, Lieutenant General Rodolfo Santos Azurin Jr., for accepting the challenge to lead the 226,0000-strong uniformed and non-uniformed personnel of the PNP.

He is a well-rounded officer, having served in the PNP as commander of both northern and southern Luzon areas. I am confident that we have chosen the right leader in his person to head the PNP so that it continues to evolve, continues to grow, and to develop into a well-balanced institution — effective and capable of steadfastly rendering faithful service to our sovereign nation and all its citizenry.

His leadership will be of great complement to this administration’s collective effort towards a complete rebirth and restoration of a brighter, safer, and more prosperous Philippines in the days ahead.

This event’s theme, “Matibay na Ugnayan ng Pulisya at Mamamayan, Tungo sa Pagkakaisa, Kapayapaan at Kaunlaran,” is a roadmap that you will take as you take the next steps forward. With our new PNP Chief at the helm, the upgrade of the PNP will be inevitable. And the police force shall emerge stronger, more accessible, more responsive, more inclusive, more relevant than ever.

His program aptly referred to as the “MKK=K” or “Malasakit, Kapayapaan, Kaayusan 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.

In the previous years, the PNP has proven its seriousness and intent to prevent criminality and solve crimes for peace to reign supreme in our land.

In the same breadth, I would like to witness the same or an even higher sense of commitment, determination, and cooperation from all, now that the new PNP has been installed.

Chief PNP General Azurin’s able governance will serve as the impetus that would further develop and strengthen the PNP in its resolve to promote goodwill and harmony in the heart of our motherland.

The obstacles in front of you will be difficult. Let us not try to say that they will not. They might be overwhelming at times. They will put your resolve and patience to the test. Baseless and unfair criticism will be forthcoming and this will come from the center, the left, and the right.

And these attacks, warranted or not, unfortunately will be relentless. But I know that you are made of sterner stuff. Your strong sense of patriotism and love of country, your bravery and firm commitment to serve, and with the solid support of the vast majority, there is no doubt in my mind that we will overcome and triumph in the end despite all odds.

Most definitely, police service in nation-building is the most fundamental prerequisite upon which a healthy future must be firmly anchored. Being the uniformed officers that you are, your role in the preservation of peace and order is pivotal in the outcome of this administration’s carefully crafted masterplan to bring about meaningful changes in the lives of many, if not all Filipinos.

I enjoin all of you to give it your best as you always have without sacrificing your integrity as servants of the people. Let us be united in supporting the PNP leadership and its crusade against those who intend to inflict harm and disorder within our midst.

Let us actively engage the public in the collective effort toward maintaining law and order so that we can all enjoy the gains that accompany development and growth.

Let us continue to conduct our business with utmost integrity and accountability and let us not allow even a hint of dishonesty and abuse to enter into that narrative. You are the vanguards of peace and that you set the example of the kind of leaders that we need to overcome the hindrances of today.

As we forge ahead and continue with the journey, I am thankful to know that in this administration, we have the PNP beside us serving as a reliable partner in making sure that the path we will be walking is conducive to the ultimate transformation we have long been working for and aspiring to.

We want to create the prerequisites to provide every Filipino a decent life, that every Filipino so fully deserves.

And to all the unit and individual awardees, I congratulate you all for the fine service and the recognition that you have gained amongst your peers. I thank you for all your service that you have done in these past few years. And I will look forward to your continuing level of excellent service as the time goes on and as we continue in our development programs for our beloved country.

So congratulations and more power to you all. For the dedicated service that you willingly extend to our nation and to our people. For the sacrifices accompanying your call of duty. For the freedoms that we enjoy and cherish.

At muli, maraming salamat sa inyong tapat at walang sawang paglilingkod para sa ating bansa. Ating pagtulungan ang muling pagbangon at pag-angat ng ating pinakamamahal na Pilipinas.

Magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat at marami pong salamat. [applause]

— END —

SOURCE: OPS-Presidential News Desk (OPS-PND)