LEGAZPI CITY, May 21 (PNA) -- Outgoing Philippine National Police Director General Ricardo Marquez said here he would rather not speculate on whether the campaign promise of presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte to stop crimes and illegal drugs in country within six months will be feasible or not.
“It is hard to speculate but I assure the new administration that the whole PNP organization will toe the line and do its best in preventing and fighting crimes," Marquez said on Thursday afternoon during the awarding of medals to 20 officials of the PNP Bicol regional office or Police Regional Office 5 (PRO5) for working hard to make the recent elections safe and orderly, especially in Masbate province which had been historically marred by election-related violence.
He said that during his stint as PNP chief, he was able to bring down the crime figures to a significant level, with a considerable decrease in the incidence of murder, homicide, carnapping, robbery and theft and other street crimes.
Marquez told reporters that the decrease in the crime figures may be attributed to a policing strategy by bringing more policemen on the streets.
Asked what legacy he will leave as he bows out as PNP chief by the end of June, Marquez said “I have elevated the level of the PNP to the next higher level in law enforcement. It is better to ask my men.”
He even cited events wherein the PNP had successfully carried out its duties like during the APEC meeting, Pope visit and the recent national and local elections.
On the campaign against illegal drugs, Marquez said the PNP has initiated strategies that continue to break the supply of illegal drugs in the country, including the reduction in the demand for drugs, with the help and participation of the community.
He said that from January to date police enforcers have seized 526 kilos of shabu with a street value of Php2.6 billion, arrested 4,000 people with undocumented firearms.
He believes that the appointment of Police Chief Supt. Ronald De La Rosa as the next PNP chief is within the prerogative of the President, saying “It is an accepted fact.”
“I think there was no by-passing as De la Rosa is a qualified and well-trained police officer. The appointment of police generals is a regular occurrence as it happened during the times of Ramos, Estrada, Arroyo and Aquino,” Marquez explained
Asked what lies ahead when he retires in August, he said he will not join other government agencies nor run for public office but instead, spend his time with his family.
Marquez said he has no objection about the plan of the new administration to give amnesty to political prisoners, but there should be a consultation process.
He claimed that there are cases where these political prisoners are facing criminal complaints still pending in courts.
Marquez also commended the Police Regional Office 5 for a “job well done” during the conduct of the national ad local elections.
He also bade farewell to his men, saying, “Change is coming -- there is nothing to fear, just continue to be faithful and loyal to the service.”(PNA) RMA/FGS/MSA/CBD/pjn