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PIA Press Release

PGMA Speech: Turnover Ceremony of PNP Leadership

Camp Crame, Quezon City, 2 October 2007

Maraming salamat Kalihim Puno sa iyong pagpakilala. Kagalang-galang na immediate past PNP director-general Oscar Calderon, Honorable new Chief PNP, incoming Director-General Avelino Razon Jr, or Sonny Razon as you all call him, Secretary Ebdane and the other appointive officials and former chiefs PNP, diplomatic corps, Senator Zubiri and the other elective officials of the Philippine government, supporters of the Philippine National Police who are here today, friends and family of Gen. Calderon, friends and family of Sonny Razon, ladies and gentlemen…

Una sa lahat batiin natin ang immediate past chief PNP, si Police Director-General Oscar Calderon ng isang maligayang kaarawan. Pinupugay natin ang iyong 38 taong matatag na serbisyo. Sabi nga niya 34 years.

Sabi ng iba 34 years and 8 months. Pero isipin natin ang 4 years sa PNO. That's 39 years. Congratulations for a job well done. Si Oca pati na rin si Sonny, inirekomanda ng Police Search Committee a long, long time Oca at si Sonny bilang kasunod niya. Mula pa noong magre-retire si Gen. Aglipay, alam na natin noon kung ano ang succession upang masigurado ang katatagan ng paglipat ng liderato at iwasan ang paninira ng mga nagkakaribal sa pinakamataas na puwesto ng PNP kaya maganda ang paglipat kay Sonny.

Naalala ko at naalala rin ni Gen. Calderon noong siya ay unang umupo. Inatasan natin sa kanya, nang manungkulan siya noong isang taon, na manguna siya sa pakikibaka sa mga rebeldeng komunista gamit ang puwersa ng kapulisan, imbestigasyon at hukuman. At gayon din sa mga sindikato ng krimen na sangkot sa kidnapping, bank robbery, droga, smuggling, jueteng, lalo na ang jueteng…eh talagang bilin ng mga obispo yun…at pang-araw-araw na krimen. At sabi rin ni Oca noon, ang ibig niyang gawing kanyang pamana ay ang pabahay. And so if we remember what he said and what I said and when we are today, I guess we can all say 'Congratulations Oca for a job well done.'

Yung inatas ko kay Gen. Calderon noon, yun din ang inaatas ko sa kanyang karapat-dapat na kasunod, our new Chief PNP Sonny Razon. But in addition, especially because Sonny was the head of Task Force Usig, I also instruct Gen. Razon to continue to be on top of Task Force Usig. Now that he is chief PNP, his perspective must be wider now. It must be not only on police action but on the entire criminal justice system. The first report I want to receive from him is an update of arrests, convictions and imprisonment of those responsible for the killings of political activists and journalists.

Kung ang pamana ni Oca Calderon ay housing, inaasahan kong ang maging pamana ni Sonny Razon ay human rights.

We deplore…all killings of political activists and journalists. I share personally with the journalism community and the same with the human rights activists, we share their outrage. And to stop the killings, we are following the recommendations of our own Melo Commission to establish separate courts, that has been done. To expedite prosecutions we need to that and we need the good invetsigative capability of the PNP to build a good case. Expand victim assistance, we're doing that. And corresponding more investigators, we have done that. And we have also told our uniformed services, and I'm glad that Sonny has repeated it, that if there are rogue elements, they must be brought to justice.

Our nation has an unfortunate history of political violence, by those from the left and the right, and we hope to break that cycle once and for all. No one should have to die fighting or speaking out for their political beliefs. But it can also be noted that terrorists, like the Abu Sayyaf, and armed communists are a threat to the sovereignty of the nation and must be checked once and for all.

The Abu Sayyaf stands in the way of peace, of bringing peace, stability and order to southern Philippines. As such, we have decidedly must wipe them out once and for all. We have arenas for peace and a beacon for international…who wish to join their ranks.

The communist rebels have spent years as a low-level threat. It's time for their disruption and violation of human rights to be put to rest so that the nation can move ahead. They impede the progress and development of a number of rural areas. They are responsible for a wide range of human rights abuses. If we are to become a First World country, we have to put a stop to their ideological nonsense and their criminal acts once and for all.

Kasama ng pagpigil sa rebelyon ang amnestiya at kabuhayan sa mga rebeldeng ibig bumalik sa panig ng batas. Gusto nating mabilis na itanim ang matibay na kapayapaan at seguridad sa mga rehiyon, sa pangunguna ng mga pinunong lokal at relihiyoso at katulong ang buong gobyerno ng bansa, kasama na roon ang ating kapulisan. We guarantee the leftist insurgents willing to turn their guns into plowshares and respect the rule of law another opportunity to regain normal life under Proclamation 1377.

The world looks upon the Philippines to continue to reinforce our economic gains with a solid foundation of law and order. And so Sonny Razon should see to it that the war against criminality and terrorism is sustained at the grassroots level and that evil is kept at bay in the streets and in the countryside, I like what you said that you want every citizen to be only within a certain distance from the nearest policeman.

The Human Security Act has helped Oca Calderon in the fight against terrorism. So he had got a chance to test it out and he had noticed that nobody has ever filed a case of abuse against the police for abusing the Human Security Act. The proof… we have a Human Security Act, we have an anti-terrorism law, but we have not used it to violate human rights. Instead, the new law enhances the safety and domestic security of our country by giving us more legal power prosecute those who commit any act of terror on our people.

Our message is clear, if you are armed and kill civilians, you will be prosecuted; if you are a communist terrorist,a religious terrorist or even a rogue element of our own police or military, we will stop you. We are empowered by the Human Security Act to crush the terrorist movement in the country and to transform our nation's response to political violence, ensure that civil rights and social justice are available to all Filipinos, not just a privileged few.

Sonny Razon must drive us ever to keep clean the good name of the police force, the good performance and organizational discipline within the ranks. I like the concept of "Mamang Pulis."

People's perception of government is in large dictated by what they experience on a daily basis and on a daily basis, people experience life with policemen. If they suffer indifference or abuse in the hands of law enforcers, they are likely to have negative views of the whole government. But if our policemen respond fast to contingencies and are honest and fair, then our citizenry will embrace them as well as the entire government as their protectors. So it is important that the PNP maintains close links with citizens' groups and I'm glad that the citizens' groups are here, the local government units and I'm glad we have a number of them here, and other stakeholders in peace and order.

We ask the new PNP chief to continue the transormation program of the PNP, so I like that passing on of the torch ceremony, into a better organization that lies on the foundation of our criminal justice system. And we ask him to build the PNP into a bulwark of economic development, social justice and political stability. The PNP is a partner in our war against poverty because we can not deliver basic social services to the needy and the marginalized sectors without the mantle of peace and order. Law and order make the glove for economic and social programs to be implemented nationwide, deep into the grassroots and without any delay. We can not have economic advancement and social progress without respect for the rule of law. ….by the presence of policemen on beats, by the trust and faith of the community and…conduct of law enforcers.

The new chief PNP has a new job cut out for him. As he himself said, by virtue of his qualifications and experiences, and I hope that he will strive to make a difference during his watch. The Filipino people and the world wait upon you, Sonny. I wish you all the best and may God almighty be with you every step of the way as you lead the PNP towards a bold start under a new leadership. And so, again, using your own words, congratulations, good luck to you, Mamang Pulis Sonny.

Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat. (OPS) [top]

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