NEWLY-assumed Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Lieutenant General Dionardo Carlos vowed on Friday, November 12, to further boost the gains achieved by the agency over the years, particularly in the campaign against illegal drugs, criminality, insurgency and terrorism.

Carlos said he is now facing the “greatest challenge” in his career as he has a big shoe to fill as a successor of retiring police chief General Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, who “worked very hard elevating the police service to greater levels and brought back the people’s trust and confidence in the police force.”

He said as the country remains in the midst of addressing the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, he will stir the police force into striving to embrace the new normal and bring together every member of the police force with greater fortitude and determination.

“The Filipino people deserve nothing less than the best service from the PNP. I commit the remaining months of my service to performing my mandate, to serve and protect my countrymen with all the effort I can muster and with a full and sincere heart for service,” Carlos said in his speech.

“Our battle cry, ‘to serve and protect’ will remain louder and stronger than ever. Building on the gains of the past PNP administration, I will ensure that every member of the police force will remain on his toes in performing the PNP mandate as we continue to fight criminality, illegal drugs, insurgency and terrorism, and corruption without fear or favor and with greater might and vigor,” he added.

Carlos said as quarantine measures continue to ease, lawless elements may once again be emboldened to commit their nefarious act.

But he said he will not let the PNP take a step back on the gains it has achieved on its anti-criminality campaign, noting he will impose programs to further cause the decline of crime incidents.

Crime incidents in the country have been on downtrend since 2016.

“We are not resting on our laurels, but are instead even more challenged to surpass the gains we have achieved, and provide a truly safe and peaceful environment where every Filipino can live and work without fear of crime or lawlessness in his heart,” said Carlos.

He said the PNP will improve anti-criminality and -illegal drugs programs and introduce further reforms.

Carlos said the fight against insurgency, terrorism and the dismantling of private armed groups will receive a new shot in the arm, as the PNP prepares for the conduct of safe and peaceful national elections in 2022.

He said that while the PNP’s hands are full against crime, illegal drugs, insurgency, terrorism and private armed groups, they will not be remiss in continuing the reforms that have been started by past administrations, such as the intensified internal cleansing policy of Eleazar, fiscal transparency and accountability of police of former PNP chiefs Archie Gamboa and Debold Sinas, and Sinas’s physical fitness program.

Carlos asked for the cooperation of every member of the police organization and the community, saying he cannot achieve it all by himself without the help of the people.

“Nais ko muling hingin ang tulong ng ating mga kababayan sa pagpapatupad ng mga programa ng Pambansang Pulisya, lalong-lalo na sa pagpapatupad ng kapayapaan at kaligtasan sa ating mga komunidad at lansangan,” he said.

(I would like to ask the help of the Filipino people in the implementation of programs of the PNP, especially on peace and safety of our communities.)

“To the men and women of the PNP, let us muster even greater courage and valor as we march forward against the enemies of peace. With technology and the social media fast advancing, criminals are becoming bolder and wiser. Let us not lose heart. Let us be a step ahead of the evil elements and prove to the people we serve that they have a police force that they truly deserve, one that will be able to defy all odds in rendering only the best services to the nation. And let me tell you that failure will never be an option for as long as we put our heart and soul into our service, with God at the center of it all,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)