(This is the transcription of the speech delivered by PNP Chief General Oscar Albayalde to the men and women of the Bohol Provincial Police Office in his visit last April 10 at the Camp Francisco Dagohoy in Tagbilaran City)
Gusto ko lang pong batiin at ipakilala yung aking mga kasama from the national headquarters na pinangungunahan ng ating Deputy Chief PNP for Operations, si Police Lieutenant General Archie Francisco Gamboa, of course yung ating DIPO Visayas, Police Major General Ronaldo Felix and of course ang ating magiting na Regional Director, si Police Brigadier General Debold Sinas and the members of the Command Group and the Provincial Commander of Bohol Police Colonel Gornez, to the men and women of Bohol PPO and of course to all the awardees this afternoon congratulations at magandang-magandang hapon sa inyong lahat.
I’m pleased to note that in as far as security preparations are concerned, Bohol province is, I know, is very much ready. I’m aware that Bohol PPO has its hands full considering that this province is among the nation’s largest islands and with the continuing influx of tourists particularly during this summer months I hope the Bohol PPO will continue to remain highly vigilant, alert, especially, as the elections are forthcoming.
I had been going around PNP units in different regions to personally oversee the security preparations for the May 13 electoral exercise but while I may not be able to visit every province in the country, I hope that our PNP units are doing their best to ensure that their respective areas are properly secured during the election period and even beyond.
You can always learn from the best practices of other provinces even as you can also share your best practices with other police units but for now I have come to remind you as I have always been reminding other units that I have visited of the most important things that we must keep in mind in this entire exercise.
First, I’m confident that you have complied well with the PNP eight-point sideline that we have defined for the 2019 mid-term elections and while I do not need to go into details I’d like to underscore the salient points of this plan that covers the crucial areas that we must give priority to in police law enforcement and public safety duties for our elections security preparations.
These are; the strict implementation of the gun ban nationwide, the intensified focused law enforcement operations, the dismantling of private armed groups, the early preparation of security and contingency plans, the provision of security to vulnerable candidates, the limited reshuffle of PNP personnel, the accounting of loose firearms and the neutralization of gun for hire and criminal gangs. As I have told other police units that I have visited each of these is crucial to the success of the whole security operations and we can not afford to fail in any of these areas of concern.
Second, as a deputized agency of the COMELEC, we not only have duties to perform but the obligation to remain NON-PARTISAN. As I have said before, the PNP is duty bound to ENSURE A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD FOR HONEST, ORDERLY AND PEACEFUL ELECTIONS in May as an APOLITICAL AND NON-PARTISAN DEPUTIZED AGENCY OF THE COMELEC. We must remain steadfast along with this policy with due regard to existing rules and regulations that prohibit police personnel from engaging in partisan political activity. Our duty is to serve and protect the entire nation and NOT IN ANY WAY, MEDDLE WITH POLITICAL ACTIVITIES. Again, LET ME REITERATE THAT ANY MEMBER OF THE PNP FOUND PRACTICING PARTISAN POLITICS OR SUPPORTING ANY POLITICAL CANDIDATE WILL BE DEALT WITH ACCORDINGLY AND FIRMLY.
Third, I want you to continue to strictly observe the PNP operational procedures and human rights protocols and show the people we serve that their police force is highly professional and respectful of human rights, seek observance of police operational procedures will help ensure the best performance of our duties.
I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR ANY MORE REPORTS OF POLICE PERSONNEL GOING BEYOND PNP POLICY AND PROCEDURES AND ABUSING THEIR AUTHORITY and fourth I want police personnel to exercise strong and firm discipline during the entire election period. There is never any reason for us to abuse our authority, this is a time to show our countrymen that they can truly depend on the police keep them safe at all times. This is a time to prove to them that we can indeed protect the safety and sanctity of the ballot as this is crucial to the future of our nation. Keeping the elections peaceful, orderly, honest and credible is among the greatest challenges we always face.
We have done well in previous election periods, we can do even better this time. The challenge for all of us is to surpass the successes of the past and make this election the most peaceful ever but while you have your sight set on the elections let me remind you as well to continue to strengthen police operations through out the province especially against the eight focused crimes, whether we are preparing for a national event or not, we must never let our guards down.
As I always say our work is never-ending. The campaign for peace and order is a continuing process and while we are in the service, we must be ready and willing to always make the necessary sacrifice to get our job done. Huwag nating biguin ang ating mga kababayan, ipagpatuloy ninyo ang masigasig, maayos at magiting na paglilingkod sa bayan. Carry on at Mabuhay ang Bohol PPO. Mabuhay ang Philippine National Police.