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Bato: This is the best time to be a cop

Dela Rosa leads the celebration of the 115th anniversary of the police service in Davao City in August 2016. PNP-PIO, file
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — With an upcoming salary increase and full government support, there is no better time to be a police officer, Philippine National Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa told cops Thursday.
 
“The government and the PNP is providing the best welfare for you and your family,” Dela Rosa said at Camp Romeo Abendan as part of a yearlong celebration of the 116th anniversary of the Police Service.
 
The Palace has endorsed a proposal by the Budget department to Congress to double the base pay of those in the non-commissioned rank of Police Officer 1 and its equivalent rank in other uniformed services. 
 
The Department of Budget and Management said in a press statement in September that, if approved, the proposal will raise the base pay for PO1s to P29,668 from P14,834.
 
Pay increases for those with higher ranks are covered by Executive Order 21 signed by President Benigno Aquino III in 2016, which implements the salary adjustments in tranches.
 
“You are too lucky because you have just joined the service and your perks will already be times two,” Dela Rosa told the PO1s.
 
But the Philippines' top cop said he is also expecting the police personnel to double their discipline and their performance.
 
“I’m sure everyone will agree with me that this is the best time to become a member of the Philippine National Police, because the president has given his full trust and support to the police and military,” Dela Rosa said.
 
"On our end, we should perform our duties well so we don't become embarrassments and we don't look like ingrates," Dela Rosa said.

Presidential support

President Rodrigo Duterte has been vocal about his support for the police and, more recently, of the military.
 
He has repeatedly said that no police officer will go to jail for doing their duty and has promised to pardon cops who are convicted in job-related cases.
 
Duterte in August praised bloody anti-narcotics raids in Bulacan province that left at least 30 dead in one night.
 
"Let's kill another 32 every day, maybe we can reduce what ails this country," he said in a speech before non-government group Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption in Malacañang. 
 
But he has also said that he will not tolerate police officers who abuse their position.
 
"You are not allowed to kill a person who is kneeling down begging for his life. That is murder," he said that same month in the wake of the death of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos in a Caloocan City police operation.
 
Police officers involved in the killing have said the boy was a drug runner and that he was killed in a legitimate operation. 
 
Duterte has also said that there are police officers — on one occasion, he said 9,000 and said 17,000 in another speech — involved in the illegal drug trade.
 
In October, Duterte transferred implementation of the government's campaign against illegal drugs to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. 
 
According to government data, more than 3,900 drug suspects have been killed in drug operations, primarily led by the PNP, since July 2016.
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