12 January 2013
President Benigno S. Aquino III received a signed covenant that symbolizes the ‘Government-Citizenry Commitment to Combat Criminality’ during the 20th Anniversary Convention of the Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order held at the Kaisa Heritage Center in Intramuros, Manila.
The covenant was signed by Senator Panfilo Lacson Sr., Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, MRPO Chairman Ka Kuen Chua, MRPO Founding Chairperson Teresita Ang See, MRPO Director Nonnatus Caesar Rojas and ABS-CBN news anchor Ces Drilon during the earlier part of the convention.
In his keynote speech, President Aquino acknowledged the great efforts that have been made to suppress criminality in the country but was the first to admit that much work remains to be done.
“Despite the decrease in overall crime incidence, crime volume in Metro Manila has actually increased from 2011 to 2012. Recent events — instances of violence and recklessness when it comes to the use of firearms — push the government to work even harder when it comes to keeping our cities and barangays free from crime,” he said.
The President said he has tasked DILG Secretary Mar Roxas to step up the campaign against loose firearms, not only to have safe and peaceful elections in 2013 but for greater peace and order in communities.
He also praised the efforts of MRPO in aiding numerous families that were victimized and traumatized by kidnap-for-ransom groups. He assured the group that the government shares its commitment in fighting crimes.
Functioning only as an ad hoc group, MRPO was organized on January 13, 2003 to lead a protest march for the funeral of 15-year old kidnap victim Charlene Sy.
To date, 57 cases were successfully tried with about 160 suspects meted life imprisonment after the death penalty was abrogated and that more than 20 KFR cases have ongoing trials.