A total of 26 Mitsubishi patrol vehicles were turned over by the Japanese government to the Philippine National Police (PNP) at the Regional Crime Laboratory Office (RCLO)-11 in Davao City on January 15, 2018. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte joined PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa in receiving the donation from Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda. (Photo by Robinson Niñal/Presidential Photo) 

DAVAO CITY -- President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, January 15, expressed his gratitude to the Japanese government for donating new patrol vehicles to the Davao City Police, which he said would strengthen its capability in fighting and suppressing crime in the region.

“I thank the people and government of Japan for donating the patrol vehicles we are turning over today,” President Duterte said in his speech during the turnover rites of 26 Mitsubishi Montero Sport units in Davao City.

“These units will allow our police to more competently perform their duties as well as enable the Police Regional Office 11 to ensure peace and order in the Davao region,” he added.

The President advised the policemen to take care of the vehicles and not to use them for personal use.

“It should not be used for personal errands for any officer. It should be where the regulation directs them to be where they are,” he said.

“And I’d think the city has still adopted the policy of hiring civilian driver so that they should be able to maintain the quality at least for a longer period of time those motor vehicles,” he added.

Duterte said the donations will not just bolster the ties between the Philippines and Japan but also “reinforce our shared efforts in fighting transnational crimes, terrorism and the proliferation of illegal drugs.”

The President also led the inauguration of the new Regional Crime Laboratory Office (RCLO) 11 building with newly acquired state-of-the-art crime lab equipment. He expected the modern crime lab to deliver quick forensic services not only within the Davao region, but also in the entire Mindanao.

“With these enhancements, we have addressed much of PRO 11 and RCLO 11’s capability gaps. I am confident that our PNP personnel in the Davao region will now be able to perform their duties more effectively,” he said.

“Let this ceremony strengthen PRO 11’s determination and resolve to uphold the rule of law and defend our citizenry from criminal elements and enemies of the state,” he added.

The Chief Executive likewise urged police personnel to remain steadfast in protecting the Filipino people, especially as the government intensifies its war against illegal drugs, crime and terrorism.

There is much expectation from police force as the President fulfilled his campaign pledge of raising their pay.

Duterte also renewed his promise to shield them from prosecution as long as they perform their duties well but also warned to treat them harshly if they engage in corrupt practices.

The President also reiterated his commitment to eliminate corruption in government, noting more officials who committed misdeeds and abuses will be removed from service.

He said he wants to give the country a break from corruption at least during his term as President. “Ito na lang sabihin ko para sa lahat sa atin: Huwag sa panahon ko. Just give the Filipino a respite for about four years,” he said. (PND)