PNP strategy shift: Toughest, brightest off to Mindanao

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) plans to deploy its toughest and brightest officers to Mindanao to correct misconceptions that Mindanao is a dumping site for scalawags, PNP deputy chief for Operations Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar said on Tuesday.

“We are now dignifying Mindanao assignments, particularly here in Western Mindanao, by correcting the misconceptions that this is the dumping site of scalawag policemen in Metro Manila,” Eleazar said in his speech during his visit to the headquarters of the Zamboanga Peninsula regional police and the opening ceremony of the Seminar on Budget Proposal Preparation.

“With the aggressive internal cleansing initiated by our Chief PNP, Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa, for instance, the PNP leadership is making sure that if you commit offenses, you have nowhere else to go, but be meted with appropriate punishments as quickly as possible,” he added.

Eleazar added that the deployment of tough and bright policemen particularly in the central and western parts of Mindanao will also play a vital role in the continuity of the implementation of the peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

“In the past three years, the security landscape here has significantly improved despite some challenges. And it will continue to drastically change now that President Duterte has set the good mood for peaceful and economically-developed Mindanao with the peace agreement with the MILF and the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region,” said Eleazar.

“So the challenge now is to fill Mindanao with both the toughest and the brightest policemen in order to sustain what the President has started to achieve a long overdue Filipino dream of peaceful and progressive Mindanao,” he added.

It has been a normal practice for the PNP to send to Mindanao the policemen involved in illegal activities and with disciplinary problems as part of their punishment.

It gave the Mindanaoans the impression that the PNP is using the region as a dumping site for rotten eggs although the PNP earlier clarified that the practice was being done to take the erring cops away from their malpractices.

Eleazar explained that the central and western part of Mindanao are considered the scariest assignment for policemen, soldiers and other law enforcement operatives due to the presence of armed men.

But he also noted that the region has become an integral part of the good peace and order strategies both by the police and the military.

“It is here in Mindanao where some of our policemen were able to show the real meaning of courage, it is here in Mindanao where excellence in law enforcement were tried and tested, and it is here in Mindanao where police heroes were made,” he said, citing the heroism showed by the 44 Special Action Force troopers who were killed in the bid to neutralize Malaysian international terrorist Zulkifli Bin Hir, alias Marwan, who helped train Filipino extremists in urban warfare and bomb-making. (SunStar Philippines)


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