EVERYONE watching the TV coverage of his first hours as our President saw him give an example of how a government executive should work. Immediately after being sworn in, giving the inaugural address, swearing in his Cabinet members en masse, and meeting with each of the foreign ambassadors—shaking hands and chatting a bit with each of the almost 140 of them, he convened the first Cabinet meeting. There he confirmed the marching orders he had given them earlier, before he took office, when he had a one-on-one with each of them and offered them their positions.
After the Cabinet meeting, he then continued to do his work.
We hope all government officials and employees follow his example. They should not, however, be like him in, according to some gossip, starting his working day at 1 p.m. We don’t believe this, even if he might have said this himself. A lot of the work in government offices must be done from 7 a.m.
New PNP brass
The way things have begun to change at the PNP is commendable. We don’t mean the vigilante killing of hoodlums and drug dealers. We mean the killing of hoodlums and drug dealers who draw guns on policemen doing their jobs and arresting them. We mean the pinpointing of rogue police officers who coddle drug lords—or are, in fact, partners of drug lords or are drug lords themselves (the good cops have dossiers on them)—and the new Director-General of the PNP, Chief Supt. Ronaldo “Bato” de la Rosa, calling on them to come forward and surrender—or be hunted down and killed by arresting officers!
And we like the way just-installed Acting District Director of the Eastern Police District (EPD), Senior Superintendent Romulo Sapitula, is doing the war on drugs. Yesterday (Saturday) he reiterated the ages-old, longstanding order for the Area Chiefs of Police to do their job and terminate the illegal drug trafficking in their areas.
In past regimes, these orders to terminate illegal drug trafficking were also given.
But—probably because the PNP brass in the past knew all along that the order they were giving was being correctly understood by the policemen as pretend lines from a play—they did not bark or give orders with the sense of urgency necessary in a war effort. While they sometimes called it a “war,” the police brass and the rank and file of the PNP generally felt that no war was really being fought—because the “enemy” drug lords were friends or were fronts for some of the high-ranking PNP officers themselves.
This time, however, it the PNP brass under President Duterte are giving orders to the rank and file to bring the war to the drug lords with urgency and resolve. While before, the mission to demolish the drug lords were given as if it were a leisurely exercise to accomplish when and if you can, this time the mission order includes a deadline.
Sapitula has given the police chiefs of the areas under his command ONE MONTH to wipe out the drug lords and eliminate the problem of illegal drugs in their jurisdictions.
Any one of these police chiefs who has not accomplished his mission in one month will be relieved of his post.
That’s the way wars are fought. And we are optimistic that the four EPD area chiefs of police will win the war. They know who the drug lords are and where their bases are. They do not have the men and firepower that the PNP has. The PNP will defeat them!
And the people of Metro Manila are behind them.