PRESIDENT Duterte has praised officers and men of the 209,000-strong Philippine National Police for keeping on shining while the country battles the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, making huge accomplishments in the war on drugs, criminality, terrorism and corruption even though it has lost at least 12 of its officers to the virus while over 2,400 remained infected.
The Commander-in-Chief also asked the PNP headed by General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa to remain pandemic-resilient as the country grapples with the COVID-19 health crisis.
During the 119th Police Service Anniversary last Thursday, the President in a taped message thanked the police force for their service as front-liners during the pandemic.
“Be assured of our nation’s gratitude for your significant contributions to the campaign against illegal drugs, criminality and terrorism. I likewise extend our appreciation for your selfless service as your front-liners in our fight against COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
“I ask you to ensure that the PNP will remain pandemic-resilient by adopting protective protocols in the new normal,” he added.
The President took note of the major role being played by the police force in checking the spread of the virus. Since last March 16, policemen manning Quarantine Control Points across the country have strictly enforced health protocols including the wearing of face masks and social distancing.
The measures have also taken its toll on the PNP. As of last week, there were already 12 fatality in the organization as a result of the virus while over 2,400 are confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Over 1,400 of the patients have been already declared as ‘recovered’ while there are more than 870 Probable Persons Under Investigation and 2,592 Suspected PUIs.
“More than a century, the brave men and women of our police have been the vanguard of peace and order across the country. I congratulate everyone, especially the outstanding and deserving personnel that will be awarded today for your crucial role in making the PNP a highly dynamic, professional and responsive organization,” the President said.
Gen. Gamboa also paid tribute to the sacrifices of his men and women.
“As the country has befallen by successive calamities with the Taal eruption and by a global pandemic due to the coronavirus, proudly I must say, that the PNP has remained steadfast and resilient,” he said.
According to Gen. Gamboa, the PNP plays a vital role in containing the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the community wherein sadly more than 2,000 of his men have sacrificed their health while rendering their service for the people.
“In line with this, the PNP has added safety measures to ensure the health and wellness of our personnel in the frontlines and those doing administrative work in different PNP offices. We have issued responsive guidelines and protocols to protect ourselves from the virus. We even established our very own RT- PCR Testing facility and sufficient quarantine facilities to accommodate our own personnel. I therefore commend the members of the Admin Support to COVID-19 Operations Task Force for a job well done in ensuring that the logistical, financial, and health support to our personnel in the frontlines are fully provided,” he said in referring to the ASCOTF headed by PNP Deputy Chief for Administration, Lieutenant Gen. Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan.
“Combating COVID-19 is everybody's business. I therefore enjoin you all to implement strictly in your respective areas of responsibilities the health protocols that were implemented to prevent further COVID-19 casualties from our end. Together we will win this war,” the PNP chief said.