MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, March 22, urged the country’s newest batch of law enforcers to remain true public servants who would not be swayed by "power or fame" to go astray.
Duterte made the call in his keynote address at the 40th commencement exercises of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) “Sansiklab” Class of 2019 in Camp Casteñeda in Silang, Cavite.
"Never be deceived by power nor by fame. What is important is your honor, because it is your badge toward genuine success,” he said, reading from his prepared speech.
The President also urged them to support his fight against illegal drugs, terror, and corruption as he neared the first half of his term. (READ: Duterte says last half of his term 'most dangerous' for drug suspects)
"I enjoin our fresh graduates to support and contribute to the administration’s fight against illegal drugs, terrorism, and corruption. Now more than ever, the Philippines needs optimistic and brave men and and women like you who have the qualities to be effective and efficient public servants,” the President said, reading from his prepared speech.
Duterte challenged the newest officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), and Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) “to be the greatest version of yourselves.”
'Model public servants'
In his speech, class valedictorian Jervis Allen Musni Ramos urged his classmates to serve as “model public servants” who are always on the side of justice and the truth.
He said the members of PNPA Class 2019 were aware that they were joining the uniformed service amid reports of corrupt law enforcers who have tainted their ranks.
In the face of such challenge, he said, “Kailanman, hindi kami panghihinaan ng loob (We will never waver)."
Ramos vowed that he and his classmates would repay the public, who had funded their education and training, with dedicated and honest service.
Of the 201 members of PNPA Class 2019, 138 joined the PNP, 22 joined the BJMP, and 41 joined the BFP.
Vice President Leni Robredo was also at the event and joined Duterte onstage. The two were seen shaking hands in greeting and exchanging smiles and pleasantries when Duterte returned to his seat after trooping the line.
The President also briefly deviated from his prepared speech after he greeted Robredo at the start of his address. After mentioning the Vice President's full name, he turned around and asked her, "Did I pronounce your name correctly, Ma’am?" – Rappler.com