By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

(PNA photo by Lloyd Caliwan)

MANILA – A total of 43,823 police officers across the country’s 17 regions have been promoted to higher ranks.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. conferred the promotion during the simultaneous oathtaking, donning and pinning of ranks of second-level personnel on Tuesday.

These personnel were promoted from the rank of Patrolman (Pat.) up to Lieutenant Colonel (Lt. Col) held at Camp Crame and various units through a virtual ceremony.

The number included 1,172 police personnel stationed at the PNP National Headquarters.

Elsewhere in the regions, similar donning of rank and oath-taking ceremonies were held to officially confirm the promotion.

“I think this promotion would really mean a lot for our personnel. So this is what we are asking for from them, the cooperation that is at their level, they should start cleansing their ranks, they should start cleansing themselves specifically regarding their involvement in illegal drug activities,” Azurin told reporters on the sidelines of the activity at Camp Crame.

He said those involved in illegal drugs have no place in the police force.

“We are the enforcers of the law. We are the ones who go after illegal drug peddlers. We should not be tainted,” he added.

Azurin also encouraged all promotees to continue to learn and actively be involved in promoting PNP’s best practices while building strong relationships with peers and the community.

He also reminded them that their duty is not just to enforce the law, but also to build trust and good relationships with the community. Further, they are expected to treat every member of the public with dignity and respect and work to bridge the gaps that may exist.

Of the police officers who took the oath, 406 were promoted to the rank of Major; 3,568 to Captain; 273 to Lieutenant; 1,707 to Executive Master Sergeant; 3, 507 to Chief Master Sergeant; 3,033 to Senior Master Sergeant; 5,046 to Master Sergeant; 11,711 to Staff Sergeant and 14,562 to Corporal.

The regular promotion program ensures a streamlined rank structure of the 227,00-strong police organization, based on the staffing pattern approved by the National Police Commission. (PNA)