P/Gen Rodolfo Azurin Jr, Chief of the Philippine National Police; members of the command group and Directorial Staff and all the officers present; the men and women of the proud and brave organization, the PNP, magandang umaga po sa ating lahat.
It always feels good to be back home. To some of us in the Board of Trustees of the PNP Foundation Inc. Camp Crame is our home, a place where we spent most of our adult professional life facing challenges too many that we have lost count of the number. How time flies, and fast.
Twenty-two years ago, I used to preside and lead our regular Monday flag-raising ceremonies where we would start our week’s work in our offices, in the field, or wherever we could be deployed to serve and protect the people; unsure if we would still be alive to attend the next hoisting of the Philippine flag right on this spot where we stand now.
Jun Azurin, then a Police Senior Inspector or Police Captain and assigned with the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force before being reassigned to the Highway Patrol Group while I was serving as Task Force commander and concurrent Director General of the PNP, was a mild-mannered and highly professional young police officer who dutifully complied with all legal orders even as he delivered on his assigned tasks. He is now the Director General of the PNP and I am confidently sure that he will serve the police organization well and more.
Ato Bisnar, who was then a Police Inspector or Police Lieutenant, is now the Chief Directorial Staff waiting for the donning of his third star. 22 years ago, then Police Director or Maj Gen Victor Batac, in collaboration with some civic-minded business professionals, conceived to create and had actually established a foundation that would perpetually render logistical support to our police organization. That said, I am privileged as the current chairman of the Foundation to be joined by some of the members of the PNPFI board of trustees: Ms. Teresita Ang-See, our vice-chairperson; Rafael Dizon, our Foundation President; retired Police Maj. Gen. Lucas Managuelod who is also the chairman of the Public Safety Savings and Loan Association Inc., which of late is a major donor of the PNPFI by sharing a slice of the PSSLAI’s corporate social responsibility to the Foundation; and last but not least the deputy executive director, Tomas Jesus Nanquil.
Taking advantage of the unprecedented goodwill and trust of the citizenry with the PNP during that time, particularly the business community, Vic Batac and the trustees of the PNPFI drafted the constitution and bylaws of the Foundation, registered the same with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and thereafter organized a pledging session at the historic Manila Hotel and Cebu City which initially received pledges and cash donations of at least P160M to form part of the corpus or the seed money of the Foundation.
Unique and noble in its intentions, the Foundation’s charter provides that the corpus be held in perpetuity and only the accrued earnings from interests and highly conservative investments can be used to purchase supplies and materials to donate to its sole beneficiary, the Philippine National Police. Hence, your PNPFI is so designed to outlive all of us. It could probably only be co-terminous with the PNP itself. Since then, there has been a long list of donations to numerous regular and special units of the PNP all over the archipelago. So far since its creation, the Foundation along with its generous donors have donated various items to around 348 police stations and offices nationwide, amounting to an aggregate total of P193M including P9.95M directly given in cash to the immediate families of the members of the SAF who were either killed or wounded in action in the Mamasapamo encounter in Maguindanao.
Today, we have turned over P4.9M worth of 301 items to you. No matter how modest and probably insignificant these donations are, we hope that in our own small way, your Foundation has managed to fill in the gap in the logistical requirements of the PNP.
As an advancer, in our forthcoming annual general membership next month, we are scheduled to discuss the latest request of the PNP NHQ for the Foundation to support your project to put up an Open University, in collaboration with the University of the Philippines that will allow PNP personnel to take up required and special training courses online, without necessarily leaving their places of assignment. This project is deemed to impact positively on the various problems confronting the service training of PNP personnel. Hence, we are being requested to donate the firewall component of the entire network system in the PNP-UP Open University joint endeavor.
Barring any infringement on the Foundation’s charter, majority of the Board of Trustees have initially expressed full support to formally approve such donation. On my part, in my individual capacity especially as a Senator of the Republic for 18 years, I have always put premium on the welfare of the officers and men and women of the police organization in all my legislative work, be it in augmenting the annual budget of the Philippine National Police or in enacting laws that benefit the PNP.
During my last term as senator alone, from 2017 to 2022, I had amended to augment the budget of the PNP in the annual General Appropriations Act in the total amount of P8,069,970,000. I will no longer indulge you further with my bragging rights this morning by informing you of the different landmark legislations that I either authored, sponsored or co-authored.
Having declared all these, I can proudly say without mental reservation and fear of contradiction, being your former Chief, I have paid my dues to the men and women of this proud organization both active and retired.
I will end my speech with an unsolicited advice to the newly installed Chief of the PNP, PGen Rodolfo Azurin Jr., assuming that I know him well enough, having worked with him during his formative years in the police service, this is going to be easy for him. Two words: COMPETENCE AND INTEGRITY.
Thank you very much and magandang umaga po sa ating lahat.