Marcos leads first PNP command conference in police camp

Marcos leads first PNP command conference in police camp
Photo from PCO

PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. led on Thursday, February 15, 2024, a Philippine National Police (PNP) command conference amid the political noise in the country, such as reports on destabilization plot against the government, discussions on the amendment of the Constitution, and the call for the separation of Mindanao from the rest of the country.

The command conference was held in Camp Crame in Quezon City and attended by all PNP officials across the country. It was the first command conference held by Marcos in the police headquarters.

Photo from PCO

In a press conference following the command conference, PNP Chief General Benjamin Acorda Jr. denied that Marcos is checking on the loyalty of the national police agency to his administration.

He maintained that meeting police and military officials is regularly being conducted by Marcos to get an update on their gains and accomplishments.

“I don’t consider it as a loyalty check. In fact, ginawa n’ya yan sa AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), so ginawa din sa atin. He being our commander in chief, it’s but proper to somehow to preside, it is his first time and we are happy in the part of the PNP, we are happy for him to preside over our command conference,” said Acorda.

“Well, with regards to these political noise na sinasabi, nakikita naman natin na like yung pronouncement dati about unang ginamit ng word doon secession. Now iba naman. So we are closely monitoring this at what is important, we are assuring the President. We gave assurance to the President that the PNP is one and solid behind his leadership and that we should focus on our mandate and, of course, maintaining peace and order and keeping the rule of law. So far, yun ang pinag-usapan namin. With regards to the destabilization, not much on that but of course, there were some monitored rallies na gagawin so yun ang pinaghahandaan natin,” he added.

Acorda said Marcos displayed satisfaction on the performance of the PNP based on the crime statistics, which is on a downward trend.

He said the chief executive directed the PNP to strengthen crime solution efficiency, including the crime activities in the cyber world amid reports of hacking and scams that victimized the public.

In a statement, the Malacañang said Marcos directed the PNP to be more strategic in its procurement of communications equipment to further improve its interoperability, especially in emergency and crisis situations.

Marcos raised concern about the reported low equipment capacity of the national police.

“We really need to come up with a plan to improve the communications capability of PNP. You cannot do your job without being able to communicate because mag-aantay kayo ng instructions, magre-report kayo sa central office, et cetera,” he said.

“So that’s something that, I think, we need to look into very well, kasi ‘yung fill-up mababa masyado. Even digital radio, tactical -- hindi tayo umabot ng 40 percent in any of the categories,” Marcos added.

As of February 14, the PNP only filled up 32.05 percent of its digital radio requirement, 33.98 percent for tactical radio and 2.48 percent for satellite phones.

Procurement of these equipment is programmed under the PNP Capability Enhancement Program (CEP).

The PNP is yet to complete its purchase of 18 units of conventional repeaters amounting to P54 million and 80 units of satellite phones amounting to P6.5 million under the CEP 2023.

For CEP 2024, the PNP is planning to procure 2,039 units body worn cameras, one unit of digital trunked radio system, an additional 18 units of conventional repeaters, and 420 units of VHF low band handheld radio, valued at P585 million.

The PNP said the procurement under the CEP 2024 is delayed due to issues in the Terms of Reference, which is already being addressed.

The PNP targets to complete the procurement for CEP 2023 and 2024 within 2024, which will increase its fill-up rate to 32.07 percent for digital radio, 39.17 percent for tactical radio, and 6.03 percent for satellite radio.

Marcos also instructed PNP officials to study the use of other communications equipment that may be suited in local situations, noting that technology nowadays is getting cheaper and better.

“The advantage that we have is that technology is getting cheaper. Satellite phones are getting cheaper. All kinds of communications equipment are getting cheaper and better,” he said.

“So, tignan ng mabuti what it is that we can do so we can provide our people with the best possible communications equipment,” he added.

He also urged the PNP to look into the best practices of their foreign counterparts and study how it can be adopted in the Philippines. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)


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