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President Marcos to PNPA graduates: Nation first before self

MANILA, Philippines — Police officers should put the nation above self, President Marcos said yesterday.

“Taumbayan bago ang sarili,” Marcos told new graduates of the Philippine National Police Academy in his address before Layag-Diwa Class of 2024 at the PNPA.

He also told the graduates that being digital natives, they should do “smart policing” and take advantage of technology to combat crime and protect communities.

“Most of you were born when the internet was no longer in its infancy, and you were shaped to be tech savvy, digital natives. I challenge you to leverage that technology that you are familiar with as aids in protecting and serving our people, especially in battling cybercrime,” Marcos said in his speech at the Camp Gen. Mariano Castañeda in Silang, Cavite.

Of the 223 graduating PNPA cadets, 199 will serve the Philippine National Police, 12 will be enlisted with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and the remaining 12 will join the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).

But he stressed the new officers should not abandon the basic and traditional methods of protecting Filipinos.

“I ask you to embrace smart policing, fire prevention and penology. There is still no substitute for pounding the streets. When it comes to assuring the people, analog will always beat digital,” the President said.

Marcos said the fight against crime now involves a potent mix of gadgets and war rooms and old-fashioned work by gritty police officers.

To those who will join the BFP and BJMP, the President said he expects them to maximize IT to improve their service deliveries while minimizing cost.

“We should not be content with current fire response time, but instead strive to make it faster,” Marcos said.

“We should not crow about jail improvements, but we should push the envelope further, lessening congestion. And most of those in uniform have kept the values and principles that define who public servants truly are,” he said.

With the President at the graduation ceremony was Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte.

Marcos presented the diplomas to the graduates, including the Presidential Kampilan Award to Class Valedictorian Police Cadet Ma. Camille