New PNP chief vows tougher stance vs. Covid-19, drugs, insurgency

Newly appointed Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Camilo Pancratius Cascolan has vowed a tougher and more pro-active approach against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), illegal drugs, and insurgency threats.

NEW PNP CHIEF. President Rodrigo Duterte (left) swears in newly appointed Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Gen. Camilo Cascolan (right) during the oath-taking ceremony at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on Monday (Sept. 7, 2020). Cascolan vowed a tougher and more pro-active approach against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), illegal drugs, and insurgency threats. (Presidential photo)

“Think of it like we are in a basketball game. As your Chief, I am holding the ball. I want three points in my leadership. I want my police officers to be responsible, respected, and disciplined. I expect no less. Our loved ones and the public we serve demand and deserve that,” Cascolan said in his first flag-raising ceremony as PNP chief in Camp Crame on September 7, 2020.

Under this strategy, Cascolan said the program dubbed as Barangay Anti-Covid Defense (BaCod) will involve the forging of stronger ties between the police and the community in responding to the pandemic.

Palalawakin natin ang ating partisipasyon at kooperasyon sa ating mga komunidad (We will expand our participation and cooperation with the community). We will no longer be regarded as just enforcers in the checkpoints. We will have more presence in barangays. We will be closer to the people in this fight. We will adopt a new hashtag. Today I declare #WeFightAsOne,” he explained.

He added that they will also intensify the campaign against illegal drugs and high-value targets.

“We will further push our fight against illegal drugs, another menace that insidiously destroys our people. We will be more aggressive in capturing high-value targets,” he said.

He underscored that the cooperation with various stakeholders and groups will be needed to level up the PNP’s restorative efforts on drug users who want to change their lives as responsible citizens.

The last part of the strategy is focused on internal security and anti-insurgency,

“I encourage you to have a deeper appreciation of EO 70, the basis of ELCAC. The heart of EO 70 is ‘good governance and better government services’. Sa ating hanay (Among our ranks), being role models as public servants are taking into heart the true spirit of the Executive Order,” he said

The EO 70 was signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in 2018 which institutionalizes the attainment of inclusive and sustainable peace thru the creation of a national task force to end local communist armed conflict and to adopt a national peace framework.

According to Cascolan, the more the PNP is able to win the hearts and sentiments of the communities, the better the fight against terrorism will be.

“Be one with me as I steer the ship with a swift maneuver that will make every personnel proud of this uniform. With God’s grace, guidance, and protection, together we will write this chapter with the mission of creating a great story of triumph,” he said. (Christopher Lloyd Caliwan, PNA)