President Benigno S. Aquino III converses with Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II during the 114th Police Service Anniversary at the PNP Multi-Purpose Center, Camp Crame in Quezon City on Friday, August 7 with the theme: “Pambansang Pulisya: Patuloy sa Makabuluhang Paglilingkod at Makatarungang Pagpapatupad ng Batas.”

President Benigno S. Aquino III converses with Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II during the 114th Police Service Anniversary at the PNP Multi-Purpose Center, Camp Crame in Quezon City on Friday, August 7 with the theme: “Pambansang Pulisya: Patuloy sa Makabuluhang Paglilingkod at Makatarungang Pagpapatupad ng Batas.”

MANILA (Mabuhay) — A week after endorsing Interior Secretary Mar Roxas as his presidential bet for 2016, President Beningo Aquino III on Friday continued heaping praises on the Cabinet official, this time for his role in reforming the police force.

In a speech during the 114th Police Service anniversary rites at Camp Crame, Aquino said Roxas provided “exemplary leadership” to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

“Nagpapasalamat tayo sa huwarang liderato ni Roxas sa DILG. Kayo na ang sasang-ayon sa mahusay niyang patitimon sa PNP [Philippine National Police],” Aquino said.

The President commended Roxas for taking on the DILG post even on short notice, after former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo died in a plane crash in 2012.

“Pero malinaw naman: Ipinagpatuloy ni Secretary Mar ang mabubuting inisyatiba ni Jesse, at talagang nagsilbi siyang tulay para maipatupad ang mga reporma sa inyong hanay,” Aquino said.

He further enjoined the PNP to continue the reforms started by Roxas, who is set to vacate the DILG post soon.

“Ngayon ngang bababa na sa puwesto si Secretary Mar— upang hindi mahaluan ng politika ang pagpapakitang-gilas ng DILG at ng ating PNP—tiwala tayong malalim na ang ugat ng ipinunla niyang mga reporma, na tiyak na yayabong tungo sa higit na pagpapalakas ng ating kapulisan,” Aquino said.

Last week, Aquino named Roxas, his close friend and fellow member of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), as his preferred successor.

After receiving Aquino’s endorsement, Roxas tendered his resignation as DILG chief, but the President asked him to stay longer to finish some projects, particularly the PNP equipment upgrade.

LP secretary general Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento, whose name is being floated as Roxas’ possible replacement in the DILG, was present during the PNP event. (MNS)