Pres. Duterte to HPG grads: Be ready for terrorism

DAVAO CITY — President Rodrigo Duterte has asked graduates of a Motorcycle Riding Course for police and other personnel to be prepared to tackle terrorism and the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.

In his message during their graduation rites held in Matina Aplaya here Friday, the President warned that terrorism would become the country’s concern in the next two to three years and everyone should prepare for it.

He reported that his administration’s campaign against illegal drugs is gaining positive results and he is leaving it to the police and anti-narcotics personnel to continue doing the job.

“Then I’d like to warn you in the coming days. We will be facing a serious problem, aside from drugs,” President Duterte said.

He said he will issue a statement about it when he returns to Manila and after conferring with other officials. “Yan ang danger nakikita namin (That is the danger that we see), maybe the next two, three years. Bantay kayo (Be alert),” he said.

He also mentioned the ongoing peace talks with different rebel groups, reiterating his position that peace negotiations for him is the best track to take to solve the country’s problems on insurgency and separatism.

Rebellion in the Philippines has been ongoing for many decades and talking peace with the communists and Muslim secessionists would be the best option, according to the President.

At the same time, the President cleared Special Assistant to the President Bong Go amid accusations that the Palace official called Philippine National Police chief Dir. Gen. Ronald dela Rosa to reinstate Supt. Marvin Marcos as head of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Eastern Visayas. Dela Rosa relieved Marcos of his duty for the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.

“Huwag kayong maniwala na si Bong ang tumawag ‘yung para kay ano… (Don’t believe that it was Bong who called.) I’d like to make it public… Doon ko nalaman si (Asher) Dolina malinis. (That is how I knew that Dolina is clean.) Si Marcos may tama… Huwag mong galawin kasi gusto kong tingnan (Don’t touch him because I want to find out),” the President said. Dolina is the former Eastern Visayas Regional Police chief.

The accusation, he said, has a bad effect as it impacts on the morale of the police force. “So ganon, pati second is, mag-low morale ‘yung tao. (People will have a low morale.) ‘Yung ibang pulis hindi man nila nalaman na (Other policemen do not know that) we’re doing the investigative work, tapos hindi mo ma-announce (and you can’t announce it), so you do that, it will create a ripple in the entire country,” he added.

Meanwhile, the President offered the graduates of the motorcycling course some tips on road safety.

He also expressed his frustration of not being able to ride a motorcycle due to security concerns. “Nawalan ako ng gana kasi paglabas ko diyan sa… may security sunod-sunod. (I have lost interest because when I leave, security personnel follow me around.) So I have lost my privacy,” the President said.

An avid motorcycle rider himself, he told the members of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) about the dangers of riding a motorcycle which he said needs concentration and skills training.

He cautioned motorcyclists not to get on a motorcycle if they have consumed alcohol and if they are not wearing a helmet to ensure their safety. He assured them that his government will give them what they need, such as by replacing old motorcycles in their inventory.

The President reiterated to the graduates that there will be no corruption and abuses in government and the police will always enjoy his support.