Quezon Convention Center, Lucena City, Quezon
January 22, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte served as the guest of honor and speaker in the annual assembly of the Provincial Union of Leaders Against Illegality (PULI) at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City, province of Quezon.

The PULI movement was formed on 2017 to help the provincial government of Quezon in maintaining peace and order by serving as the ‘eyes and ears of law enforcement’ particularly in the barangay or village level. According to Quezon Governor David Suarez, the PULI volunteers serve as sources of information in their respective communities to prevent crimes by reporting illegal activities such as illegal drugs, insurgency, illegal gambling, illegal logging, etc.

In his message, President Duterte stressed that the key to the nation’s progress and development is by having law and order, equality, and ridding government of graft and corruption. For Quezon, he shall be consulting with Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary John Castriciones on the vacant lands owned by the government in the province for distribution to the people of Quezon.

He cited the problem of communist insurgency in the country and said that he is willing to talk and offer peace to the New People’s Army (NPA), as well as give a second chance to communists who shall surrender to the government by building shelters for them and providing trainings at the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for future employment.

The Chief Executive reiterated his pledge “to protect the Filipino people and preserve the sovereignty of the nation” as he leads the country, saying that being President of the Philippines is a “gift from God.”

Comprising about 10,000 volunteers, the Provincial Union of Leaders Against Illegality (PULI) group was named after Apolinario de la Cruz — known as Hermano Pule — a local hero of Quezon province during the Spanish colonization in the country. Pule wanted to become a priest but was discouraged by the Spanish friars for being an ‘indio.’

He then founded the Cofradia de San Jose religious organization that attracted more than 5,000 followers and was forced to go underground upon discovery by the Spanish priests. Pule was eventually captured and killed by the Spaniards, but his heroism and valor inspired the three Filipino priests – Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora – to revolt against the racial and discriminatory practices of the Spanish Catholic priests in the country.

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