Duterte tells police to 'be more disciplined'

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(File photo) President Rodrigo Duterte

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 20) — President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated his suppport for the police in a speech Wednesday, but said they must step up on professionalism.

"Yung disiplina ninyo, taasan ninyo nang kaunti," Duterte said in a speech during the oath taking ceremonies of the newly-elected board of trustees of the Philippine National Police Aluni Association, Inc. (PNPAAAI)

[Translation: You have to be more disciplined.]

Duterte said most police in the provinces are "almost indolent," and in the process have forgotten that rebels – particularly the New People's Army – have "renewed their fight against the government."

Police in far-flung areas, the President said, have become so "sloppy" that detachments are being raided daily. This does not sit well with Duterte.

"Ang awareness kasi ng pulis ngayon sa atin [Police awareness among us] is not that good. And it cannot remain so," he said.

I work for you - Duterte

The President said he is aware of the lack of funds for the police, but that equipping them properly remains a priority of his administration as the government is fighting tough battles.

"You will have the best of the police and the military during my time. May priority kayo [You have priority]," he said.

The President asked the police to bear with him and to continue working with him and the reward, "maybe after five years, you'd see a very much improved country," as well a "very much improved police."

Duterte said he will continue to be an ally of the police.

"In the realm of your work and my work, bata ninyo ako [I am your ally]. Ako 'yung utusan ninyo, "bilhin mo ito, bilhin mo 'to [Tell me what to buy]....Your life and my life, there is no less meaning of each other's existence. Pareho tayo [We are the same]," he said.

Duterte asked the police, however, that there be no graft and corruption; that what is given to to those at the top must be shared by all.

He also said a much more personal approach could be taken to address problems being faced by members of the police force. One way, Duterte said, would be for them to approach Special Assistant to the President Bong Go.

"Kilala ninyo si Bong [You know Bong] and we will talk, and invite you for coffee and we will talk about your problem," he said.

He added, "'Yan ang pangako ko sa inyo. Any problem at all. Cancer ng anak, asawa, ganun...Come to me...We can always socialize the pricing."

[Translation: That is my promise to you. Any problem at all. If your children, your spouse has cancer...come to me...We can always socialize the pricing.]