President Duterte asks newly sworn in police officials to remain loyal to the Constitution, people, 19 Jan. 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte led the oath taking Thursday of newly appointed police officials in Malacanan and asked them to serve the people with utmost dedication and remain loyal to the Constitution.

In his speech during the event, he expressed his gratitude, on behalf of the Filipino people, to the newly sworn in police officials as he assured them of his continuous support.

“I’d like to thank you in behalf of the country for your service. And I hope that we have returned to you at least by giving you the dignity of a rank of being a general,” the President said thanking the police officials.

“Just continue to do your work. Maybe huwag kayong matakot about the future. I’m still here six years. I can always harness you back to government by the time you get out of the police.”

The country has been facing enormous problems today, he said, from concerns on the proliferation of illegal narcotics, corruption, crime and the entry of Islamic extremists in the Philippines especially in the south.

In tackling drugs, the President told police officials about the enormity of the problem and how illegal drugs have crept into the country’s political system with so many police and local officials part of the drug trade.

He reiterated his strong stance against it, stressing he won’t allow the country to be destroyed by illegal narcotics. He told his critics to help the administration instead of lambasting him on the ongoing war against drugs.

Regarding police personnel and officials who are involved in drugs and crimes, he said they will be held accountable to their deeds. He advised them not to be disheartened by the problems confronting the police force.

He also told the police officials not cultivate loyalty to him saying like other politicians, he will be out after six years.

“You just remain loyal to the flag and to the Constitution. That is all that I ask of you,” he said adding in terms of promotions, they must be based on merits.

“Basta atin trabaho lang. I said, do not cultivate a loyalty na personal sa akin. I do not need it but the country needs your dedication.”

The President also mentioned the Mamasapano incident that happened two years ago expressing his sadness over the incident in which 44 members of the police elite force perished in the clash with Muslim rebels.

He said he wonders why the SAF forces did not receive any reenforcement particularly air support despite several hours of firefight. 

President Duterte said he would meet with the widows of those who died during the bloody incident as the country remembers it this month.###PND