Espina to Central Visayas police: Work with 44 SAF troopers in mind
Grace Melanie L. Lacamiento (The Freeman) - March 29, 2015 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Philippine National Police acting chief Leonardo Espina told Central Visayas police to emulate the 44 Special Action Force troopers who died in Mamasapano, Maguindanao and follow in their footsteps in bringing honor to the organization.

Espina, who is in Cebu for a two-day visit, yesterday awarded 12 policemen from the Police Regional Office-7 in recognition to their successful operations.

In his message, Espina acknowledged that the entire organization suffered a blow following the death of the 44 SAF troopers, or the “gallant 44” as what he calls.

“Walang gustong mamatay sila, pero namatay sila. But we cannot go on that way,” he said.

He said the PNP organization should move forward after losing 44 of its members but it should take note of the sacrifices they did for the country.

“I hope and I pray that this baggage that we carry slowly lightens. Hindi palaging mabigat ang kinakaladkad natin. If we have to go on, we have to move forward because we owe it to the people. Our work, our mandate, utang natin sa tao iyan,” he said.

Espina advised the policemen in Central Visayas to work while keeping in mind the sacrifices of their 44 fellow policemen.

“Kinamatay nila ang pagseserbisyo, namatay sila nang nagseserbisyo. We also owe it to these 44 na magserbsiyo nang tama. We move on with them in mind,” he pointed out.

To do such, Espina said, policemen should keep in mind operations and discipline as top priorities while at work.

He said that a policeman should be both proactive in apprehending criminals and in preventing crimes.

According to him, the accomplishment of the police force is unquantifiable and can only be seen once its area of responsibility is well-developed and orderly.

The PNP official also advised policemen to stay physically fit and prim as an act of discipline. He suggested to PRO-7 to come up with an organized athletics program that can be scheduled every Tuesday and Thursday.

“Kasama sa trabaho natin iyon. Pulis tayo, eh. Dapat nakakatakbo tayo nang mas mabilis kaysa sa mga kriminal Nahahabol natin sila,” he stressed, adding that exercise is a matter of regularity and way of life.

He particularly reminded obese policemen to start working on their figures.

“Kung mataba, magpaliit simula ngayon. Hindi dapat tayo matataba. ‘Yung malalaking tiyan, hindi puwede iyan. ‘Wag kayong malupit sa kanin,” he added.

Aside from being physically fit, Espina further said policemen should also be ethical to leave a lasting good impression to the public.

He further reminded young policemen to always stay safe and stick to what is right.

“Just do your job and you will never go wrong,” he said, further calling on the police to never forget to seek divine intervention from God and pray for each other.

During his visit to the regional headquarters, Espina also had a dialogue with PRO-7 personnel who raised suggestions to improve their operations.

He also checked on the operational accomplishments of PRO-7, including the loose firearms they have seized from July 2014 to March 2015.

Espina described Cebu as “very close to my heart” and considered it as his second home. He served a year and three months as the chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group 7. His wife also hails from Cebu.

He commended the police personnel of Central Visayas as one of the most disciplined and most competent in the country.

He said Cebu, which is considered similar to Metro Manila in terms of urbanization, trade, commerce, traffic problem and crime situation, deserves outstanding police personnel to be assigned in it.

“PRO-7 is one of the best, if not the best, in the organization,” he said.

Espina is visiting the regional police offices in the country before he retires in July. He has already visited Regions 1, 3 and 8. —NSA (FREEMAN)


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