PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte urged the Special Action Swat (Swat) members, the elite force, to continue upholding their mandate to be the protector of the people during the opening ceremony of the first National Swat Challenge held at Team Davao Firing Range, Diversion Road Ma-a, Davao City.
"Never lose sight of the fact that notwithstanding our resounding success in the liberation of Marawi, the decreased crime incidents nationwide and the growing public trust [in] our institutions, threats will always persist and our people will depend on you, our law enforcers, to keep them safe and secure at all times," he said.
The three-day competition, which opened Thursday and will conclude today, aims not only to showcase the skills and capabilities of the 59 Swat teams but would also promote camaraderie, sportsmanship and competitiveness among law enforcers.
He also thanked them, saying, "I thank our elite Swat units for always being ready to take on critical, hazardous, and complex crisis situations. Your grit and determination have made you ready to take on the challenging task of dealing with criminality, illegal drugs, and terrorism."
The President ordered law enforcers to work together and enhance coordination in attaining the common goal towards sustaining the peace and order in the country and to minimize civilian casualties during their operations.
"As we continue our work of maintaining peace and order in the nation, I direct the PNP, the AFP, and other law enforcement agencies to work towards [interoperability] in your operations, professional training, and capability development," Duterte said.
He also asked their commitment to ensure the safety and security of the people in their areas of responsibility.
"Let us remain steadfast in our commitment to protect our people, especially that we are intensifying our effort against enemies of the state here in Mindanao," he said.
He also wished the participants good luck in their competition. He also gave cash prizes to the winners of the challenges.
The events include Pistol/Rifle Marksmanship, Close Quarter Battle, Night Raid, Bus Assault/Terrorist Attack and Physical Agility/Obstacle Course. There will was 10 challenging and action packed stages for the competitors, with 411 minimum rounds of ammunition for pistol and 304 minimum rounds for rifle.