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‘Koko’ wants ‘Balikatan’-type military exercises for cops

Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III proposed yesterday to adopt “Balikatan”-type military exercises for the Philippine National Police (PNP) that would be similar to the war exercises under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and US armed forces.

He said that such drills are expected to improve police crime-fighting capabilities and discipline.
Pimentel said that PNP’s version of the exercise could be called “Kapatiran” and undertaken jointly with police forces of other countries.
He said that a European delegation that he met recently was receptive to the idea of an exchange training program for the police force.
“The Balikatan-type model is a good starting point because it focuses on training and enhancing the capabilities of our Armed Forces,” Pimentel said.
He said the government would first have to determine if a model could be developed that would allow the PNP 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.
Pimentel said that regular exchanges of police personnel could improve the PNP’s readiness in responding to crimes and improving even discipline.
He made the suggestion amid the current kidnap-slay scandal on South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo that involved rogue policemen and which relegated the image of the PNP in a bad light.
President Duterte has suspended anti-drugs operations of the police force as a result.
He said that his proposal could help PNP grow into “a modern and capable police force.”
It 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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