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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

Speaker Romualdez vows solid House support for DILG-PNP crackdown vs crime
27 February 2023 08:00:34 PM

SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Monday night committed the solid support of the House of Representatives for an intensified campaign of law enforcement authorities against crime to ensure the safety of our citizens.

Romualdez made the announcement following a closed-door meeting at the House of Representatives with Interior Sec. Benhur Abalos, and Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. that he sought amid recent incidents of gun-related violence against certain local officials and hapless civilians.

“Nakausap ko si Presidente (Ferdinand Marcos) kanina [sa Cebu] at natuwa siya na binibigyan nating pansin ang nangyaring krimen recently,” Romualdez said during the meeting.

Abalos and Azurin reported to Speaker Romualdez that the crime rate went down despite the recent high-profile crime incidents.

"We gave Sec. Abalos and Gen. Azurin our assurance that the House of Representatives would be open to providing the PNP with adequate funding support and other resources---as well as new legislation if necessary-- to buttress the campaign against crime, which is our shared concern," Speaker Romualdez said.

Other leaders who attended the meeting include House Majority Leader Mannix Dalipe, House Minority Leader Marcelino Libanan, Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Zaldy Co, Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales, Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, Camiguin Rep. Jayjay Romualdo, and Agusan del Norte Rep. Joboy Aquino II.

Abalos and Azurin were joined by Chief of Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management Maj. Gen. Eliseo Cruz, NCRPO Chief Maj. Gen. Edgar Alan Okubo, and Deputy Chief for Operations Maj. Gen. Jonnel Estomo.

Speaker Romualdez agreed on the necessity of an intensified drive against criminality that includes a sustained crackdown on illegal firearms and increased police visibility across the country along with ongoing programs for improved intelligence-gathering capability and training of policemen.

Speaker Romualdez said the effort to curb the incidence of crimes, especially gun-related violence, should start with strict enforcement of the law.

"Let us ensure that the law is carried out strictly, without fear or favor," Romualdez said.

“We are here to address all possible threats to public order and safety. We agreed to work together to reduce all forms of criminality and violence," Speaker Romualdez said.

However, Speaker Romualdez stressed the critical importance of continued collaboration between local communities and the government to ensure the success of the campaign against crime.

As part of the anti-illegal firearms campaign, Romualdez said they sought a stricter licensing system for firearms by requiring additional training on gun safety and stringent background checks on anybody who is purchasing a firearm.

In addition, Romualdez proposed to strengthen the government's national database of firearms to enable authorities to effectively track the movement and ownership of firearms in the country.

“These proposals are meant to ensure a safer environment for everyone. This is our commitment to protect the citizens and promote public safety,” Speaker Romualdez said.

Likewise, he appealed to the DILG and the Department of Justice (DoJ) to see to it that cases filed against offenders of illegal possession of firearms are successfully prosecuted and that the violators are convicted and punished.

At the same time, Romualdez gave due credit to the hard work, commitment, and dedication of law enforcement agencies across the country to fight all forms of criminal activities.

“I thank our law enforcement agencies for working tirelessly to combat crime and protect our citizens,” Speaker Romualdez said.(END)