CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Provincial Government of Pampanga on Thursday, July 13, turned over some 24 patrol vehicles and cellphones to local police units and other law enforcement offices in a bid to boost their anti-criminality, anti-illegal drugs, and anti-terrorism operations.

The ceremonial turnover was led by Governor Lilia Pineda, Vice Governor Dennis Pineda and members of the Provincial Board.

Philippine National Police Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, Central Luzon Director Chief Superintendent Aaron Aquino, and the Pampanga mayors witnessed the event held at the Capitol grounds.

Pineda said that the Provincial Government allotted some P20-million for the purchase of the patrol vehicles which were given to the two cities (San Fernando and Mabalacat) and 19 towns in the province, as well as to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Pampanga (PDEA), Pampanga Public Safety Company (PPSC) and Pampanga Police Provincial Office (PPPO).

The governor expressed her hope that the service vehicles will augment and intensify the police operations in the province, including the implementation of drug operations and service of search and arrest warrants, as well as hasten the police response during emergencies.

“Minsan kasi mas mabilis pa ‘yung sasakyan ng mga kriminal kaysa sasakyan ng mga pulis. Naiiwan sila. Kaya ‘eto, kumuha ako mas malalakas na makina ng sasakyan para pwede na silang makipagsabayan (At times, the vehicles of the criminals are much faster than that of the police. They get left behind. Now, we purchased vehicles that are big and fast that they can compete),” she said.

A total of 48 cellphone units, two units carrying Globe and Smart postpaid sim cards, were also turned-over to chiefs of police and heads of PDEA-Pampanga, PPSC, and PPPO during the said event.

Pineda said that the postpaid bills of the said cellphone units will also be paid by the Provincial Government.

“Minsan kasi kapag may kailangan ang chief of police, hindi agad makatawag dahil wala daw load, sila lang daw kasi ang naglo-load. Kung minsan kapag may emergency, magpapaload muna sila. Pero ngayon wala ng problema, binigay na natin ito sa kanila (Sometimes, the chief of police cannot make emergency calls because of no load. But now, this will mo longer be a problem as we are giving them free load),” she said.

She added that the Provincial Government will create calling cards containing the contact numbers of the said cellphone units and will be distributed to the Kapampangans for their reference.

Pineda appealed to the police officers to take care of the facilities given to them since the Capitol has allocated a significant amount of money for its purchase.

She stressed that the patrol cars and the cellphones must only be used for official purposes and not for personal gains of the officers.

“Ang sabi ko talaga kay General Bato (Dela Rosa), kapag hindi nila iningatan ang mga ‘yan, wala ng magbibigay sa mga pulis. Kaya sana alagaan talaga ‘yan (I told General Bato that if they will not take care of those, no one will give them a new set. That's why we hope that they will take care of these things,” she said.

Dela Rosa lauded the governor for her "generosity" and continuous support to the programs and projects of local authorities.

He said he graced the event to personally express his gratitude to Pineda for "everything that she has shared to the policemen of Pampanga."

“Lubos ang aking pasasalamat sa Provincial Government ng Pampanga sa kanilang walang sawang pagsuporta sa kapulisan, lalo na sa patuloy na laban sa iligal na droga. (I am very grateful to the Provincial Government for their help especially in our fight against drugs) Kaya kahit sobrang higpit ng schedule ko sa Crame, (That is why despite my hectic schedule) I really went out and traveled to Pampanga to personally say thank you Governor Pineda and Vice Governor (Dennis) Pineda sa napakalaking tulong na ito,” he said.

Dela Rosa said that the vehicles will greatly help in the mobility of the local police in augmenting their daily operations against criminality and lawlessness, including the threat of terrorist attacks.

He added that the staunch support of the local government and the public proves that the war on illegal drugs and other criminalities is getting stronger and is near its success.

Dela Rosa also expressed hopes that other governors in Central Luzon will replicate Pineda's program of support to the law enforcement.

“Sana ma’am (Governor Pineda), gayahin din po kayo ng ibang governors natin dito sa Central Luzon. Sana makapagdonate din po sila ulit sa atin,” he said.

Dela Rosa reminded the police officers to take care of the vehicles and use it for official purposes only.

The PNP chief also warned that policemen who will be proven misusing and abusing the vehicles will be sent to Marawi City and face the real battle.