Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III wants to bolster the police’s crime-fighting capabilities and discipline among the ranks through a “Balikatan-type” agreement with countries known to have advanced crime-solving and -fighting techniques.

Pimentel, in a press statement today, did not rule out the United States, but said the annual military exercises between the US and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) “could be a model in meeting the huge challenge faced by the Philippine National Police.”

“The Balikatan-type model is a good starting point because it focuses on training and enhancing the capabilities of our Armed Forces,” Pimentel said.

“But we have to determine if a model could be developed that would allow our police to benefit from the expertise of the advanced police force of another country in traditional areas of crime-prevention, investigation, crime-solving and peace-keeping,” he said.

The exercise for the PNP, Pimentel said, could be called ‘Kapatiran’ and undertaken jointly with police forces of other countries, adding that a European delegation that he met recently was receptive to the idea of an exchange training program.

Regular exchanges of police personnel could heighten the PNP’s readiness in responding to crimes and improving even discipline, he added.

The involvement of senior police officers in the kidnap-slay of a Korean businessman in October last year sparked widespread demand for reforms in the PNP in recent days.

He said that under his proposal the PNP could grow into “a modern and capable police force.”

Pimentel said boosting the police force’s crime-fighting capabilities would also benefit LGUs across the country, because most crimes are “local in nature and need the local police to solve them.”

“We begin with the training on crime-fighting and crime-prevention, and if we are successful here, we will start looking in areas where we could improve police efficiency and capability,” Pimentel added.

 

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