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DILG chief tells police recruits to become instruments of peace

DILG Secretary Benjamin "Benhur" Abalos Jr. delivered an inspirational message before the new police recruits, emphasizing that their uniform, which symbolizes service and allegiance to the Philippines, is not just about the prestige that comes with being a member of the Philippine National Police but rather how to become a paragon of virtues among peers and an instrument of peace in the communities. (Photo courtesy of BARMM’s Bangsamoro Information Office)

COTABATO CITY (PIA) -- Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin "Benhur" Abalos Jr. urged the 294 new police recruits, who were former members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), to become “instruments of peace and live by the Philippine National Police (PNP) mantra to serve and protect the Filipino people.”

“Remember this: it’s not all about strength; it’s not all about stamina. Being strong is not all about physical strength; rather, it’s more about how to be humane,” Abalos said during the oath-taking ceremony of the police recruits who have recently joined cadres of men in uniform of the PNP held at Camp Pendatun, Parang, Maguindanao del Norte.

He cited that if two people are fighting in front of a police officer, they should be instruments of peace and refrain from escalating any more tension.

“Importante ang pasensya, ang maximum tolerance, tandaan niyo yan, but you must also be quick to act. Hindi pwedeng pabagal bagal, yan ang Philippine National Police [Patience is important—maximum tolerance, remember that! But you must also be quick to act; you can't slow down. That's the Philippine National Police],” Abalos said.

He also challenged the new recruits to finish the training program and serve as inspirations to other MILF and MNLF members in attaining peace and sustainable development in the region.

“Marami na kayong pinagdaanan at ipangako n’yo sa akin na hindi na kayo aatras [You have been through a lot, and promise me that you will not back down],” he told the police recruits. 

Abalos, who is also chair of the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM), emphasized that the NAPOLCOM recruitment process was transparent, stringent, and, most of all, fair.

He said the successful MILF and MNLF candidates made it through the training based on their “own merits.”

The 294 PNP recruits, composed of 255 men and 39 women, will undergo a six-month field training program, including passing the special qualifying eligibility examination, the physical agility test, comprehensive medical assessments comprising psychological and psychiatric examinations, and drug tests.

Once they finish the training program, they will be given temporary appointment status and will be assigned to the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (PRO-BAR).

The entry of former MILF and MNLF combatants into the PNP is covered by Republic Act No. 11054, known as the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).  (LTB – PIA Cotabato City with reports from OPAPRU)

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