By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

ALL PRIMED UP. Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos (in white) poses with members of the Philippine National Police who will represent the country in the 2024 UAE SWAT Dubai Police Challenge during his visit at the Special Action Force Headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan on Friday (Jan. 19, 2024). Abalos urged the Philippine contingent to take note of the advancements made by other countries, which will help improve the local cops’ abilities to ensure peace and order in the communities. (Photo courtesy of DILG)

MANILA – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos has called on members of the Philippine National Police’s 84th Special Action Company – Rapid Deployment Battalion to give their best and “learn from the world’s best” as they represent the country in the 2024 UAE SWAT Dubai Police Challenge.

“This team will symbolize our country. You are the best of the best. Iba ang tapang, galing, at puso ng Pilipino (The bravery, expertise, and heart of Filipinos is unlike any other),” he said during his command visit at the Special Action Force (SAF) Headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan on Friday afternoon.

The UAE SWAT Challenge, hosted by the Dubai Police, is an annual competition organized to foster an exchange of tactical techniques and skills among international special units and tactical teams.

The 13-man delegation will participate in the competition on Feb. 3-7, where they will test their mettle against 81 other SWAT teams representing 70 countries through a gauntlet of tactical and operational challenges.

Abalos said he was hoping that the competition would not only center around winning but also for the improvement of the local cops’ prowess in ensuring peace and order in the communities.

“Life is a continuous learning process. A good way of learning is being exposed to international competitions,” he said. “In this competition, take note of the advancements made by other countries. This will not only help bolster ours but will also be instrumental in saving lives in the future.”

He likewise urged the delegates to “carry not only their families and communities in this competition, but the whole country and its pride, as well.”

As a token of support, Abalos pledged PHP50,000 for each member of the SAF delegation. (PNA)