Duterte promises funds for PNP campaign vs drugs and crime

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — President Rodrigo Duterte wants a full throttle campaign against illegal drugs and other crimes while he is at the helm of the nation, and promised the police he will give them the means to do their job.

"I will provide you the funds. I will provide you the weapons needed to fight criminality," Duterte said in a message to the Philippine National Police (PNP), a day after he said in his inaugural speech the fight against crime will be relentless and sustained.

He made the promise after formally installing former Davao City Police Chief Ronald Dela Rosa as the new PNP Director General in the change of command ceremony at Camp Crame.

He also reiterated his campaign promise of doubling the salaries of the police and soldiers.

"I will not run this country with a corrupt police," Duterte said.

Also read: After drugs: Duterte now goes after online gambling, fixers

The low pay that policemen receive is often cited as one of the reasons some officers turn to corruption. The lowest ranked policeman, Police Officer 1, receives a monthly base pay of ₱14,834.00, while a middle ranking officer gets ₱32,341.00, and the highest, the Chief of the PNP, gets ₱67,500.00.

Duterte said that he will not tolerate abusive officers and hinted that there will be a major revamp in the PNP.

He said he will not activate the PNP board of generals, which decides on promotions and assignments, "until there is a reformation in the organization."

“But be sure that … after six years we are back to what you are supposed to be -- a law enforcement (that is) law-abiding, God-fearing, and only doing what is good for the country. Then you can have everything back, including the board of generals,” he said.

Also read: PNP Chief warns rogue policemen: Your days are numbered

Dela Rosa earlier said Duterte has given him a free hand to choose officers to be assigned to key positions in the meantime.

Duterte said he will not interfere in the assignments, but he said he told Dela Rosa “you have to answer to me for anything that happens.”

He said some generals are tainted with corruption and involved in illegal drugs, but did not identify them.

"You know that I know, so you better resign. You no longer have a future with the police," said Duterte.

But it wasn’t all castigation that Duterte dished out to the 160,000-strong police force. He also said he will come to the aid and defense of officers who come under fire for doing their jobs right.

“Do not b------t with me but do your duty, I will die for you. Do your duty and if in the process you kill 1,000 persons because you were doing your duty, I will protect you,” said Duterte.

 

CNN Philippines Correspondent Gerg Cahiles contributed to this report.