PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. (Screengrab from PNP Facebook live video)

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday said it remains committed to protecting human rights while preserving the country's peace and order.

PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. made this remark as the force joined the rest of the government, civil society and the entire nation in commemorating the National Human Rights Consciousness Week (NHRCW).

Azurin said the event is fortuitous as it coincided with the 74th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHD) with the theme, "Pagtaguyod at pagsulong ng mga Karapatang Pantao tungo sa Matatag na Pundasyon ng Kapayapaan, Katarungan, Kalikasan, Kaunlaran, At Bayanihan”.

He added that the Philippine government can take pride in the PNP being very progressive in human rights advocacy where necessary mechanisms have been set into place to ensure that human rights are protected, and violators are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

“By law and by demands of faith and morality, we in law enforcement are called upon to uphold civil, political, economic and socio-cultural rights. We do so, not only because the law demands it; we must uphold human rights simply because it is the right thing to do," Azurin stressed.

Among the highlights of the celebration is the recitation of “Panunumpa Ng Kawani Ng Pamahalaan Bilang Tagapagtanggol Ng Karapatang Panato” led by Brig. Gen. Vincent Calanoga, chief of the PNP Human Rights Affairs Office.

Azurin also gave recognition to six PNP personnel who have contributed their precious time, knowledge, expertise, and resources in support of the PNP human rights development program.

He also reminded all uniformed personnel that as police officers, they have the sworn obligation to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights as the core of maintaining peace and order, ensuring public safety, and upholding the rule of law in the country.

“Indeed, human rights is the first business of policing. As I have always emphasized, this is not just a sacred and cherished tradition, but a way of life in the PNP. Thus, we, in the PNP including the military and the government as a whole, are the true defenders of human rights," he added,

Meanwhile, the Public Safety Savings and Loan Association Inc. (PSSLAI) awarded a plaque and PHP50,000 to Cpl. Margarita Mabborang as the winner of the PSSLAI Good Deeds Project. (PNA)