Duterte to PNP: Stay resilient to fight COVID-19
“I likewise extend our appreciation for your selfless service as frontliners in our fight against COVID-19 pandemic. I ask you to ensure that the PNP will remain pandemic-resilient by adopting protective protocols in the new normal,” Duterte said in a pre-recorded message aired at the celebration of the 119th anniversary of the police service at Camp Crame.
Edd Gumban/ File
Duterte to PNP: Stay resilient to fight COVID-19
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - August 7, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Citing their “selfless service” as frontliners in the fight against COVID-19, President Duterte asked the 205,000-strong Philippine National Police (PNP) to be more resilient amid a pandemic that has affected more than 2,000 in its ranks.

“I likewise extend our appreciation for your selfless service as frontliners in our fight against COVID-19 pandemic. I ask you to ensure that the PNP will remain pandemic-resilient by adopting protective protocols in the new normal,” Duterte said in a pre-recorded message aired at the celebration of the 119th anniversary of the police service at Camp Crame.

The PNP leadership has maintained the police cannot step on the brakes in serving the public reeling from a pandemic. COVID-19 cases in the country have reached 115,000 as of Wednesday.

The President also underscored the police’s role in the fight against criminality, especially illegal drugs and terrorism. “Be assured of our nation’s gratitude for your significant contributions to our campaign against illegal drugs, criminality and terrorism,” he said.

In his message, Duterte noted how the police force has helped the government in enforcing health protocols during community quarantine in the country, especially in the National Capital Region.

He maintained “the brave men and women of our police force have been the vanguard of peace and order across the country” for more than a century.

“I congratulate everyone – especially the outstanding units and deserving personnel that will be awarded today – for your crucial role in making the PNP a highly dynamic, professional and responsive organization,” Duterte said.

“May you build on the gains of your achievements and continue to serve with honor and justice,” the President said.

PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa, for his part, cited what he called a sharp drop in criminal activities during the lockdown period, especially from March 17 to June 15.

Citing records, Gamboa said the PNP recorded 6,408 index crimes from March 17 to June 15 this year, 54.93 percent lower than the 14,219 cases documented before the pandemic from Dec. 17, 2019 to March 16, 2020.

Index crimes are murder, homicide, rape, car theft, motorcycle theft and robbery.

“Our operational units have gained strong footing against criminal activities,” he said.

Manhunt operations against the country’s high-value targets have not diminished despite the COVID-19 outbreak. He cited as an example the recent arrest of longtime fugitive Ruben Ecleo.

On the anti-drug campaign, the PNP has seized around two tons of shabu valued at P15.37 billion since Gamboa assumed leadership of the police organization, first as officer-in-charge, on Oct. 14, 2019. –Emmanuel Tupas

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