Aquino challenges new PNP chief to ensure peaceful, orderly 2013 polls

December 18, 2012 11:33 pm 

By Lilybeth G. Ison

MANILA, Dec. 18 — President Benigno Aquino III Tuesday challenged the newly appointed chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to ensure a peaceful and orderly elections in 2013.

"Sa pag-upo naman po ni Deputy Director General Alan Purisima bilang bagong Hepe ng PNP, mag-uumpisa ang panibagong yugto ng isa na namang makasaysayang pamumuno sa ating kapulisan," the President said.

He was speaking at the change of command ceremony at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

"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," he said.

He added: "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 (SAFE 2013) na pinamumunuan mismo ni Deputy Director General Purisima.

"Batid nating sa pamamagitan lamang ng malayang pagboto, malalaman ang totoong pasya ng sambayanan."

Aquino said he has known the new PNP chief since 1987 as an officer of the Presidential Security Group during his mother's administration.

He said: "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 kilala na sa isa’t isa.

"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."

At the same time, the President warned policemen involved in corruption and illegal activities, saying jail time awaits delinquent cops.

"Mulat tayong sa kabila ng mga reporma, may mga kabaro pa rin kayong nagbabahid ng mantsa sa inyong ahensya. Hindi po tayo makakapayag na ang mga inaasahang maglingkod sa bayan, ay sila pang pasimuno ng katiwalian," he noted.

The President said: "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.

"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."

Meanwhile, Aquino thanked outgoing PNP Chief Nicanor Bartolome, who retired Tuesday, for his invaluable service to all Filipinos and to the country.

"Para kay Nic: Maraming salamat sa pagmamalasakit at pagkukusang pagsilbihan ang atin pong bayan. Mabuhay ka, Nic," he said.

The President conferred on Bartolome the Philippine Legion of honor with the rank of commander.

Bartolome, for his part, 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 mid-term 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," he said.

Bartolome said he opted to retire early to enable the incoming PNP 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."

Purisima, meanwhile, thanked the outgoing PNP chief "for paving the way", and vowed to continue the reforms initiated by his predecessor.

He also thanked President Aquino and Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas for the trust and confidence. (PNA)

HBC/LGI

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