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Operations vs crime, drugs to be bolstered –PNP Chief Carlos

Newly-appointed Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police Lieutenant General Dionardo Carlos on Friday vowed to bolster heightened police operations against criminality as well as illegal drugs.

"We will implement even more strongly our Enhanced Managing Police Operations programs against criminality and our Double Barrel Finale 'Version 2021' against illegal drugs," Carlos said during his speech at the change of command ceremony in Camp Crame.

"We will improve these programs as necessary and introduce further reforms as needed as we strive to make more potent these tools against crime and illegal drugs," Carlos added.

Carlos is the 27th PNP chief, replacing Police General Guillermo Eleazar.

While lawless elements may be emboldened to commit criminal acts due to the easing of regulations amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Carlos promised that the police force would not let this happen.

"Hindi na natin pababayaang bumalik pa ang mga masasamang loob sa ating mga komunidad at lansangan. Hindi natin pababayaang masayang ang ating mga pinaghirapan nitong mga nakaraang taon," said the new PNP Chief.

(We won't allow villains back into our communities and streets. We won't allow our efforts these past years to go to waste.)

According to Carlos, he would guarantee that every member of the organization would "remain on their toes" in performing the PNP's mandate of serving and protecting the nation.

"While we are deeply grateful to [President Rodrigo Duterte] and the past PNP leaderships and the supportive community for this achievement, we are not resting on our laurels, but are instead even more challenged to surpass the gains we have achieved, and provide a truly safe and peaceful environment where every Filipino can live and work without fear of crime or lawlessness in his heart," he said.

Critics had denounced police operations against illegal drugs, linking these to alleged extrajudicial killings that claimed the lives of thousands.

The Department of Justice started its probe into the drug war deaths, with the National Bureau of Investigation conducting a case buildup against police officers who were allegedly involved in these deaths.

Government data indicated that at least 6,000 were killed in the drug war. The number is way lower compared to the more than 20,000 deaths claimed by local and international human rights groups. — DVM, GMA News