PNP chief Marquez to police: Remain apolitical in 2016 elections

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ricardo Marquez ordered top police officials to remain apolitical in the upcoming 2016 elections.

During the traditional New Year's Call in Camp Crame on Tuesday (January 5), Marquez said the police's role is to ensure peaceful and orderly elections and not to participate on any political activities.

“Let me remind you that we, in the PNP, remain apolitical and must never allow ourselves to be used for anyone’s political ends,” Marquez said.

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He also challenged the uniformed men to outdo their performance during the 2010 and 2013 elections, when they “effectively secured the ballot and ensured the conduct of peaceful and orderly elections.”

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Marquez thanked all the officers for supporting the PNP leadership in 2015 especially that the organization faced big challenges, particularly the Mamasapano incident where 44 Special Action Force commandos were killed.

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Despite the challenges, he highlighted the accomplishments of the PNP, including ensuring the safety and security during the Papal Visit and the APEC Summit.

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He also mentioned the gains of the PNP's anti-criminality campaign, “Oplan Lambat-Sibat” and the increased police visibility in the streets through patrolling.

“As we now march into 2016, we do so with our heads high, and ready more than ever to score more victories against crime and lawlessness,” Marquez told police officials.

Present during the PNP's New Year's Call were members of the command group and national directorial staff, commanders of national headquarters support services, and regional directors.

The New Year's Call is a tradition where the top police officers and their wives gather in Camp Crame usually during the first working day of the year.

CNN Philippines' Gerg Cahilles contributed to this report.