LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ricardo Marquez, who retires in August, urged police officers to be loyal to the service at all times as a new administration prepares to take over in a few weeks' time.
Marquez was at Camp General Simeon A. Ola in Legazpi City to award police officers for the successful conduct of the 2016 elections in the Bicol region Thursday afternoon, May 19.
"Nothing beats dedication and hard work. Be loyal to the badge you wear. Change is coming; you'll have a new chief PNP in June 30," he told police officers in Bicol.
Marquez also urged them to always toe the line whoever the president or the PNP chief may be.
"Whoever the president and chief PNP may be, our work is the same. Just do your job. This might be my last visit to you as chief, so my congratulations to all of you for the job well done," he said.
"All of us contributed for peaceful elections. We worked together, and the will of the people prevailed. We have safeguarded the ballots. The honor is not mine alone, but for all of us," Marquez added.
Marquez had earlier said he would give his courtesy resignation to the new president, in this case, Rodrigo Duterte.
A day before Marquez's Bicol visit, Duterte's team in Davao City already announced the president-elect's choice for PNP chief: Police Chief Superintendent Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa, former Davao City police chief.
Marquez described Dela Rosa as professional and "magaling" (competent). The incoming top cop is a 1986 graduate of of the Philippine Military Academy, leaping over other more senior police generals for the top PNP post.
Duterte's anti-crime plan difficult but feasible
On Thursday, Marquez was asked if Duterte's marching orders to finish off crime and the war against drugs can be done within 3 to 6 months.
The PNP chief told Rappler that this move is feasible, but it would be difficult to speculate, in consideration of the country's slow wheels of justice.
"The PNP will toe the line to prevent crime," he said.
"[The proliferation of] drugs is very serious in the country. Sadly, it takes about 10 years to prosecute drug cases in the country. We're seeking the prosecutors for speedy trials, but prosecution is too slow in the country," Marquez said.
Under his watch, he said the police confiscated at least 526 kilos of drugs from big-time syndicate groups involving Taiwanese and Chinese nationals.
Marquez admitted that these syndicate groups operate all over the country, with almost all barangays threatened by their illegal operations.
For Marquez, putting them behind bars is made difficult by the slow process of prosecution in the country's local courts. – Rappler.com