Heroes Hall, Malacañan Palace
April 18, 2023

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. presided over the 1st Joint National Peace and Order Council (NPOC) – Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) Meeting 2023 at the Heroes Hall in Malacañan Palace.

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin ‘Benhur’ Abalos Jr., concurrent NPOC Chair, highlighted in his presentation the country’s national peace and order situation.

In his report, Secretary Abalos Jr. cited several achievements, including the revitalization of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), wherein it has disbanded 67 guerilla fronts that resulted in the reintegration of 28,713 rebel-surrenderees through various programs by the local government units (LGUs). He also gave updates on the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) Capability Enhancement through the conduct of Balikatan Exercises with the United States military, as well as the decrease in the country’s crime index by 1.91% at the end of 2022.

In his guidance message, President Marcos Jr. narrowed down key issues of the country’s criminality to political violence and drugs. He underscored the importance of holding checkpoint operations to counter the proliferation of illegal firearms and to counter the developing ‘warlordism’.

On the country’s illegal drug problem, where recently several high-ranking officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) have been impugned, the President reiterated being fair and just in the conduct of investigation which is expected to conclude in two weeks or so. He also stressed the need in working closely with the police force to ensure peace and order in the locality.

“We have nothing against the police force… We are partners in the peace and order at kailangan magtutulungan tayo. And that is what I always advise our officers and the Secretary of the Local Government,” said President Marcos Jr., adding that there should also be a mechanism in place that would hold accountable police officers who have succumbed to temptation.

“We cannot do this in very broad strokes. We have to be very careful… the gathering of our intelligence so that we know that our intelligence is well assessed, is accurate, comes from reliable sources, is well assessed, well analyzed, para tama naman yung mga galaw natin na we are moving against the people who are actually involved,” the President concluded.

Prior to the meeting, President Marcos Jr. administered the oath of office to the newly appointed RPOC Chairpersons and RPOC Vice Chairpersons.

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