The year 2010 was a banner year for the Philippine National Police (PNP) in accomplishing its mission of keeping the first-ever fully automated national and local elections on May 10 and at the same time recording nearly 40 percent decrease in number of crimes throughout the country.
PNP chief Director General Raul Bacalzo attributed the successful year to the tireless efforts and good performance of the men and women of the 137,000-strong police organization.
Bacalzo commended all uniformed and non-uniformed PNP personnel, stressing that everyone, regardless of rank or position, made valuable contribution and had been an “integral part in the gains” achieved by the PNP.
“Indeed, the year 2010 has been a year of trials, triumph and transition in the PNP but amidst all these challenges we managed to prove our mettle and posted notable accomplishments,” he said.
The PNP was initially thrown the challenge of keeping the much-contested May 10 presidential elections, the first-ever fully automated nationwide polls, honest, orderly and peaceful as deputized arm by the Commission on Elections (Comelec). The PNP activated its Task Force HOPE or honest, orderly and peaceful elections.
The PNP, in close coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), went on to accomplish the mission at hand, declaring the May 10 presidential elections as one of the most peaceful, if not the most peaceful, in recent memory, particularly compared with the 2004 and 2007 polls.
Still reeling from the challenges posed by the national elections, the PNP was again put on spotlight because of the August 23 hostage-taking incident at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila where eight Hong Kong tourists were killed by former Manila police Senior Insp. Rolando Mendoza. The police, particularly the Manila Police District (MPD) and the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), were criticized for the incident that drew international attention, especially from the Hong Kong authorities.
In spite of this, the PNP stood up by investigating its own men, including then NCRPO chief Director Leocadio Santiago and MPD director Chief Supt. Rodolfo Magtibay, who voluntarily offered his leave of absence to pave the way for an impartial probe of the case.
Meanwhile, preparations were made by the PNP in connection with the October 25 synchronized manual barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections nationwide.
Just like the May 10 presidential elections, the PNP and the AFP came up successful in performing their mandate of keeping the barangay and SK polls orderly and peaceful. Aside from these mission accomplishments, Bacalzo also noted significant gains in the PNP’s internal programs under the PNP’s Integrated Transformation Program (ITP).
”For the past year, the PNP steadily moved forward towards its ultimate goal of a transformed police force continuously addressing the needs of its personnel by providing more housing, scholarships, health care, legal assistance, retirement benefits, and livelihood opportunities,” Bacalzo said.