NEWLY assumed Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Rodolfo Azurin Jr. has vowed to support the programs of the Marcos administration, particularly in making communities more peaceful in a bid to boost the country’s economic recovery from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Azurin said a peaceful community will encourage more tourists to visit the country.

This is in line with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s pronouncement that tourism is not only an important economic development tool but the abundance of opportunities that the sector creates in terms of regular employment and even job creation at the grassroots level is undeniable.

“So, for us to beef up or improve ‘yung economy, sabi ko kanina kailangan meron tayong kaayusan, may kapayapaan tayo dito because if we will be perceived as a county that is peaceful, orderly then darami ‘yung ating turista. Marami tayong tourist areas dito,” said Azurin.

“So kapag dumami turista, definitely income yan and then kapag dumami mga investors, job opportunities sa mga tao natin so the stability of a country depends on the peace and security,” he added.

Azurin said he will employ the same aspiration under the security and peace framework entitled MKK=K, which he launched during his time as the police regional director in Ilocos.

MKK=K stands for Malaskit, Kaayusan, Kapayapaan and Kaunlaran wherein the combination of care, order and peace shall equate to progress.

Azurin said the MKK=K shall be supplemented by Kasimbayanan program, which stands for Kapulisan, Simbahan at Pamayanan, wherein regardless of religious affiliation, volunteer church leaders shall help the police nurture relations with the community thereby bridging the gap between the two.

He said Kasimbayanan also seeks to organize the community as peace advocates to ensure that every citizen is law abiding, as it aspires for church leaders to counsel their members thereby contributing to reformation.

Internal cleansing

Azurin said he would also continue the Internal Cleanliness Policy implemented by his predecessor, which includes preventive, punitive and restorative efforts.

“Subsequently, the dismissal, suspension and demotion of PNP personnel found guilty of administrative charges has declined over the years. However, to further cleanse our ranks of misfits and undesirables, we need to level up our counterintelligence,” he said.

He said that among the 227,652 PNP personnel from 2019 to 2021, about 32,520 or 14.28 percent have been investigated for various administrative cases, while 26,815 or 82.46 percent of which are offenses due to neglect of duties, 3,577 or 11 percent are due to misconduct and 1,032 or 3.17 percent are due to irregularity in the performance of duty.

“Even simple offenses such as these give an awful impression of the PNP organization as a whole which poses a serious question on the leadership of our PCOs (police commissioned officers) in all levels,” said Azurin.

“Hence, to further strengthen our internal cleansing programs, all commanders must exercise their respective disciplinary authority. Otherwise, they shall be replaced with a more competent commander. The kaayusan program aspires to strictly implement the rule of law without fear or favor that every citizen may abide by ordinances as simple,” he added.

To ensure the quality of police service, he will push that police lieutenants who recently graduated from the PNPA shall undergo training with the Philippine Army's scout ranger regiment and special forces, the Philippine Marine Corps Reconnaissance Training and PNP's SAF commando course.

Illegal drugs

Azurin said they will sustain the gains of the campaign against illegal drugs but this time, they will coordinate and communicate more with the communities, particularly the barangay as they know their constituents better.

He said he would push more for the rehabilitation of drug users.

“So ang pinakaganda diyan is i-engage natin directly ‘yung mga drug users. We bring awareness, yun ang keyword doon, we bring awareness in all barangays nationwide para nang sa ganun alam nila na kailangan ay pagtulungan natin sugpuin ito,” said Azurin.

“Hindi ‘yung sa dami ng namatay bakit may droga pa rin. So ibig sabihin we are not really hitting what needs to be addressed,” he added.

Azurin said the PNP, under his leadership, will conduct an audit of the drug situation in the country, focusing on areas where prominent drug personalities were killed.

He said the PNP will also “liaise and partner” with other government agencies, such as the Bureau of Customs and the Philippine Navy “to ensure that supply chain entering our country either as transshipment or market will be reduced if not cut totally.” (SunStar Philippines)