FEBRUARY 5, 2024

Mr. President, it is with such joy and pride that I wish to thank this august chamber for approving on Third Reading Senate Bill No. 2449, which lays down Organizational Reforms in the Philippine National Police, amending Republic Act Nos. 6975 and 8551.

RA 8551 mandated the NAPOLCOM and the PNP to propose organizational reforms to our national police agency to be approved by [the] Congress. For several congresses, Mr. President, the proposal to institutionalize these much-needed reforms in the Philippine National Police barely moved. In some congresses, the said proposal was given the courtesy of a Committee Hearing, while in others it was simply read on First Reading and then archived. As a consequence, the PNP was forced by circumstance to operate and function with an organizational structure based on a law crafted 25 years ago. 

To my colleagues Senator Bong Revilla and Senator JV Ejercito who also co-sponsored the bill, co-authors Senate President Migz Zubiri, Senator Bong Go, Senator Francis Tolentino, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, and Majority Floor Leader Senator Joel Villanueva, thank you for the support you have shown this bill, for seeing not just its necessity, but also its urgency.

Kina Senator Francis Tolentino, Senator Allan Cayetano, Senator Bong Go, Senator Win Gatchalian, Senator Grace Poe, Senator Pia Cayetano, Senator Chiz Escudero, Majority Floor Leader Senator Joel Villanueva, Senator Risa Hontiveros, at Minority Leader Senator Koko Pimentel, Senator Jinggoy  Estrada, maraming salamat sa inyo. Senator Robinhood Padilla, Senator Nancy Binay, Senator Sonny Angara, maraming salamat sa inyong tulong. 

Kung ang pagsasabatas ng isang panukala ay ihahalintulad natin sa paggawa ng bahay, malaki ang aking kumpyansa na ang bahay na ating itinatayo ay matatag at hindi mapipinsala ng anumang unos o sama ng panahon.  Pinatibay po ng inyong bawat tanong, komento, at suhestyon ang pundasyon ng panukalang ito.

And of course, to the personnel of the Philippine National Police, headed by the able leadership of Police General Benjamin Acorda Jr., the Chief PNP, along with Police Major General Rudolph Dimas, the Director for Plans, as well as Police Brigadier General Ponce Rogelio Peñones Jr., Police Colonel Wilson A. Santos VI, Police Colonel Ricky Delelis, Police Major William Aspilan Jr., and Police Major Joey S. Delos Santos, and to the National Police Commission, with Alberto A. Bernardo, Vice Chairperson and Executive Officer, Commissioner Edilberto D.C. Leonardo, Commissioner Ricardo P. Bernabe III, Commissioner Beatrice Aurora A. Vega-Cancio, Staff Service Chief Planning and Research Service Evangeline R. Almirante, Staff Service Chief Legal Affairs Service Atty. Chito Noel D. Bustonera, and Special Police Assistant to NAPOLCOM PCol. Laudemer N. Llaneta, and to the Department of Interior and Local Government led by our competent secretary, Secretary Benjamin Abalos, Jr.: Words are not enough to thank you for your patience, your wisdom, and your hard work. After all these years, finally, the PNP organizational reforms we sought to introduce are being materialized. They are beginning to see the light of day. I hope we can all welcome that day together, when this measure is passed into law, soon enough.

Once again, my heartfelt thanks to this august body. We have acted in the spirit of the words of George Bernard Shaw, refusing to wait for the right opportunity, we have, instead, gone ahead and created the opportunity.

Moving forward, I have more reason to hope, Mr. President. May this be the year that they receive, in their honorable institution, the legislated reforms they so rightfully deserve. Maraming salamat, Mr. President.

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