Duterte assures new police officers their families will be taken care of

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews /25 March) — President Rodrigo Duterte assured new graduates of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) that before his term of office ends in 2022, he will “leave a legislation” that will take care of their families should something untoward happen to them in the line of duty.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in his speech during the 38th Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) Commencement Exercises for ‘Masidlak’ Class of 2017 at Camp General Mariano N. Castañeda in Silang, Cavite on March 24, 2017, reiterates that he will protect the police officers as long as they carry out their operations within the bounds of law. ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./Presidential Photo

“I will assure you now, I’ll make you the guarantee that I will leave a legislation that will put in trust so many billions (of pesos… for your families) …  by the time I go out,” Duterte told 144 graduates of the PNPA, 57 of them from Mindanao.

Two Moro cadets ranked first and second in Class “Masidlak” 2017:  Macdum Darping Enca of Cotabato City and Midzfar Hamis Omar of Tawi-Tawi. A total of seven Mindanawons are in the Top Ten of th Class “Masidlak” 2017.

At the graduation rites in General Mariano Castañeda in Silang, Cavite, Duterte said that as President, he has assured families of police officers and personnel who die in the line of duty that government will provide jobs for the widows and spend for their children’s education.

He narrated what he does when he visits the wake of felled law enforcers: “Tatanungin ko ‘yung biyuda, saan ka nakatira, kung may trabaho ka ba o wala. (I ask the widow, ‘where o you live, do you have work?). Then automatically, itatawag ko si (Local Governments) Secretary (Ismael) Sueno, ‘give her an employment nearest to the barangay where she lives.'”

He said the Presidential Management Staff “takes care of the expenses sa education at ‘yung mga naiwan na asawa, nasa gobyerno” (and the widows left behind are employed by government).

Duterte read a prepared speech before speaking impromptu at the graduation rites.

“This day marks the end of your trials within the academy. From this day forward, you shall face another set of challenge… challenges and opportunities. I hope that you will take to heart the principles of the Philippine National Police Academy that has been imparted to you,” Duterte said, adding that when their resolve is being tested, “always look back to what drove you to become part of the police force.”

He explained that the ongoing war on drugs has claimed the lives of several of their comrades but “more than just policemen and women, let us remember that those brave souls .. were also family members who selflessly laid down their lives to see a better tomorrow for the present and future generation.”

“We will not allow them to become mere statistics. We owe it to them, to ourselves, to our children to ensure that their sacrifice will not be in vain. That they died so (we may) have peace and order and stability for our country today,” Duterte said.

“The government will ensure our policemen that their families will be taken care of. That is why we have increased the combat pay and incentives for our PNP uniformed personnel. I have also issued directives to provide assistance to the immediate families of your fallen comrades,” the President added.

Immediately after reading his prepared speech, Duterte assured the graduates of government’s support for their families if something untoward happens to them.

“I have so many things to tell you. Alam mo lahat ng, God forbid, I do not wish it upon anybody, pero ‘yung mga anak ninyo, during my term and maybe thereafter, I’m looking for billions of pesos as a trust fund for your families.”

“Alam mo, tayong mga tatay, ngayon, lalo na ngayong mga anak pa kayong maliliit, what bugs us when we go out to fight and even to travel to dangerous places…. ang nasa isip kasi natin, ang anak, pamilya. Mahirap ‘yan. That is why I will assure you now, I’ll make you the guarantee that I will leave a legislation that will put in trust so many billions (of pesos for your families).

He told the 144 graduates in their early 20s that they should “not be afraid because we take care of your wives.”

“They are – on that day, pag bisita ko (when I visit the wake), they are automatically employed. Then ang mga anak, we take care of the tuition fees. I hope it would be institutionalized and that is my dream about three to four years, in place na ‘yan,” the President said.

He said government will support the orphaned children’s education until college.

“Government will take care over your worries. Yours (is to) fight for the country, do it right,” Duterte said.

He said the graduates have been lectured on the rules of how to do law enforcement right so they must do it right, as he assured them of his full support should they face cases in the performance of their duties.

He said he wants a change in the law or regulation where salaries of policemen facing charges are  suspended.

“There has to be a change in that law or regulation kasi masama na nga na may nangyari tapos madamay ang pamilya pati anak. There has to be a way which you can continue receiving your salary for a while so that your family will have rice on the table and the children can continue with their studies,” he said.

But Duterte said he will not support policemen who beat their wives.

He recounted how, as mayor, he would tell policemen in Davao City who beat their wives to choose if he would file cases against them or he would beat them up in front of their wives. “Either bugbugin kita sa harap ng misis mo na binugbog mo o file-an (file) kita ng kaso. Karamihan diyan nambubugbog ng asawa. Do not do that. Do not do that,” he said.

But Duterte said that if the policemen are facing charges while in the performance of their duty, even if they kill a thousand (“isang libo ang napatay mo”), “okay lang. I will defend you, I will protect you.”  (MindaNews)