(NIB photo by Rey Baniquet)

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday vowed to sustain the gains of the country's "hard-won" democracy and uphold President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s policies aimed at fostering development.

PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. made this commitment in his speech at the celebration of the 121st Police Service anniversary in Camp Crame.

“On our 121st year, the greater challenge ahead for the police service is to sustain the gains of our hard-won democracy and measure up with the national strategic direction set by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that aims to secure food and energy sufficiency, inclusive growth, sustainable development, education and public health for the country founded on peace and unity,” said Azurin in his opening remarks during the occasion, which was graced by Marcos as guest of honor and speaker.

Azurin, the 28th PNP chief and the first under the Marcos administration, said the anniversary highlights the PNP’s peace and security framework dubbed “Malasakit, Kaayusan, Kapayapaan tungo sa Kaunlaran” (MKK = K, or Compassion, Order, Peace toward Progress).

“It will also be a year of continuing change for the organization as we remain resolute in improving police work and capabilities and cleansing our ranks of misfits and scalawags. Guided by the peace and security framework dubbed malasakit, kaayusan, kapayapaan tungo sa kaunlaran or simply put M+K+K=K, let us continue to stand in solidarity as we work together for the full realization of the government's aspirations of a safer, peaceful, more progressive and a stronger equitable society,” he stressed.

Azurin also said the police force has been able to deliver more than the goals it has set as it continues to uphold its solemn oath to serve and protect the Filipino people and the Constitution.

"Our collective dedication and focus enabled us to strengthen peace and security and promote public order and safety where it mattered the most, at the grassroots where quality police service is most needed by the Filipino people," he added.

He said the PNP's operational and administrative accomplishments showed that every police office and unit has effectively carried out the task that significantly contributed to the overall peace and order situation in the country.

“All over the country, noteworthy projects and activities have been completed and most importantly individual lives and communities were changed for the better only because we choose the path of dialogue, mutual trust, and shared responsibility," he said.

Azurin, meanwhile, thanked communities and other stakeholders for their unwavering support.

"Indeed, your timely counsel and reminders helped the PNP to reexamine itself. With your support, we in the PNP can do more in this noble cause,” said Azurin.

The PNP chief also paid tribute to fallen police officers who have sacrificed their lives in the performance of their duty.

“We are here to manifest the nation's enduring gratefulness and carry on the ideals they cherish. In the months and years ahead and in the final tradition of service, honor, and justice, let us strive to be the catalyst of good governance, excellence, professionalism, and integrity, ever staying faithful and loyal to the Constitution, the Philippine flag, and the duly constituted authorities in dispensing our law enforcement and public safety duty,” he added.

The event marks the founding of the country's first insular police force, the Philippine Constabulary, on Aug. 8, 1901. (PNA)