Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace
August 30, 2017

“I am looking for money and I want the Philippine National Police (PNP) to, as soon as possible, recruit and organize about five to seven battalions of SAF (Special Action Force),” said President Rodrigo Roa Duterte as he officiated the oath-taking of 55 PNP Star Rank officers in a ceremony at the Rizal Hall in Malacañan Palace.

The President emphasized the need for more government security forces and said that the army needs 20,000 more soldiers. “Kulang tayo ngayon,” he added.

President Duterte also spoke of the continued modernization in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and its different services, specifically the purchase of smaller and faster boats instead of bigger ships to help fight against piracy and to deliver continued integrity and security within the Philippine seas.

The acquisition of more advanced weaponry such as precision missiles and more FA-50 fighter jets were also on the President’s agenda. He added that talks with the governments of China and Russia regarding modern weaponry have already begun.

The President also discussed the planned establishment of a PhP 20 billion trust fund for the PNP and AFP to further help government security forces.

“Despite the headway against criminality, the country remains in danger,” said President Duterte as he reiterated the administration’s ongoing war against illegal drugs. He added that high-ranking government and PNP officials made it impossible to solve the country’s drug problem within six (6) months.

The President also mentioned how Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog’s house is “like a palace” when he asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into the mayor’s lifestyle.

Before ending his speech, he invited the 55 new PNP star rank officers to come to him if they are in need instead of resorting to other sources.

Several high-ranking government officials and families of the new star rank officers took part in the ceremony and in the photo opportunity during the event.