Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr.
delivered 5 January 2023, Camp Crame, Quezon City, Metro Manila, The Philippines
[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]
Members of the PNP Press Corps, to the Senior Officers, of course our Director IG [Inspector General], Attorney -- Attorney Alfegar Triambulo; [delivered in Tagalog]:
The announcement of the Honorable Secretary Attorney Benjamin Abalos, Jr., of the Interior and Local Government, yesterday morning shows that public service is far more paramount than any other personal considerations. I strongly support the intention of the SILG [Secretary of the Interior and Local Government], particularly his fervent desire to cleanse the ranks of the PNP [Philippine National Police] from misfits, especially those who are involved in illegal drugs.
We, in the uniformed service, are trained and prepared and are expected to prioritize public service over personal interests. Similarly, I -- I support and uphold the guidance of our beloved President, Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., to every policeman to keep our integrity untainted and to do our best to uphold the moral ascendancy of the PNP to ensure the continuity of public rapport.
As I always mention, of the integrity of our people, I take this as a rare chance to radically cleanse our ranks and, once and for all, to clear the names of all third-level officers who are not involved in illegal drugs. Above all, after all of these processes, I strongly believe that the PNP will rise more triumphant and dignified as an organization which we can be truly proud of.
Since August 2022, when I took my oath at the PNP, I have been calling on all PNP personnel to unite and work with passion, as embedded in our program "MKK=K."1 This [unclear] program encompasses our unceasing internal cleansing efforts of -- in our ranks.
The appeal for courtesy resignation, particularly addressed to our senior officers, is a wake-up call to all PNP members to reflect on how and what has happened in our respective careers. We must contemplate among ourselves if our contributions to the PNP have made it better or worse in the eyes of the public we ought to serve.2
As earlier discussed with our senior officers, I expect [a] majority, if not all, would heed to the call of the SILG. This call of [the] SILG is a test of individual character. And as an answer, I am taking the lead to submit myself to such evaluation, assessment, and scrutiny by the committee. A five-man committee, which is independent from both the PNP and DILG [Department of the Interior and Local Government], will the handling the assessment and evaluation process. While this process may be outside the disciplinary machinery of the PNP, this will be undertaken due to the exceediency [exigency] of the situation.
Though we heed the call of the SILG, we respectfully demand the members of the said committee to maintain their reputation of an impeccable character, probity, fairness, and unquestionable integrity throughout the process. Least they be reminded [sic]3 that the careers, reputations, families, and even lives of these third-level officers, built for 30 years or more, depend on their hands.
This exercise to be undertaken by the senior officers is more of a moral challenge rather than a legal battle. Thus, we likewise respectfully demand that the process be made objective, impartial, judicious, and fair. We demand as well that the proceedings be made apolitical, and that personal issues and biases be set aside for a more acceptable outcome.
Now, I am calling on all the 956 PNP generals and colonels to have the courage to subject themselves to the process. Let us not put the organization in a disarray, and as officers and gentlemen let us be guided by the wisdom of our leader.
Likewise, I am calling for all commanders of the PNP units to also take the lead and heed the call of our leader. I am expecting that our commanders have understood the wisdom behind this and will willingly embrace the intention of it.
While all of these are underway, I will now initiate the restructuring of IAS [Internal Affairs Service], IMEG [Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group], and PDEG [Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group] -- these units being the frontrunners in our fight against illegal drugs -- and internal cleansing -- and to give more teeth to our disciplinary machinery. Our processes in IAS must be further improved to pave way to a speedier disposition of cases.
The situation requires that these units be more aggressive and proactive to support the PNP's trust on internal cleansing. A stronger vetting process among personnel of these units and among all key positions in the PNP will be implemented with strong resolve. Similarly, our country['s] intelligence efforts must all the more step up to protect the integrity of all police undertakings. As a good officer in the public center, I will at all times obey the local orders of the appointing authority for the good of the organization and in the interest of the Filipino people.
Lastly, let us remember that everything will work out in the end. You don't need to know how. You just have to trust God and believe that it will.
1 Strictly "M+K+K=K" where M is for Malasakit, K(1) is for Kaayusan, K(2) is for Kapayapaan, and K(3) is for Kaunlaran (Tagalog) which, in context, translates as "Compassion + Order + Peace = Progress." MKK=K is the abbreviation for a peace and order campaign promulgated by PGen (Police General) Azurin in an effort to bolster the PNP's (Philippine National Police} national reputation under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.,'s presidency. The mantra itself was first introduced by Azurin during his tenure as Regional Director of Police Regional Office 1. In its current iteration, the program to which the mantra refers is designed to respond directly to allegations against and long-standing rumors of ranking ("third-level") officers' involvement in illicit drug activity. In this regard, the program is an extension, at least rhetorically, of the previous Duterte Administration's similarly situated "cleansing" directive against "illegal anti-drug units" of the PNP.
2 Some transcripts render this, "...we took an oath to serve"
3 Some transcripts render this, "At least they are reminded...."A possible, if somewhat confused, hearing/interpretation is "Lest they be reminded," where the phrase expresses more strongly a cautionary note regarding the potentially perilous consequences of the committee's evaluative task
Audio Source: YouTube
Page Updated: 1/12/23
U.S. Copyright Status: Text = Public domain per Philippines Government Website Statement: "All content is in the public domain unless otherwise stated" which presumably covers Government content delivered via a commercial press medium. Audio = Fair Use.