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New Year’s call: DND sets sight on ‘continued transformation’; PNP highlights unity

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DND Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. delivers a speech during the joint DND-AFP New Year’s Call on Jan. 12, 2024 at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City. (Photo by AFP)

The leadership of the Department of National Defense (DND) and Philippine National Police (PNP) conducted their traditional New Year’s call on Friday, Jan. 12, to lay down their goals for 2024.

DND Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. led the joint New Year’s call with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City where he stressed that the transformation of the entire defense department, including its civilian bureaus and the AFP, “will carry on in the new year.”

“We thank the whole defense family for the cooperation that they have shown last year in the midst of our attempts to transform our organization into a new defense organization with new skills, new paradigms, and new capabilities,” Teodoro said.

“We shall continue that effort this year and we hope that we have the same unconditional cooperation from each and every one of you,” he added.

The defense chief underscored the importance of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s support to the defense and military in order to establish a credible defense posture amid emerging security threats here and across the entire Indo-Pacific region.

Teodoro emphasized that despite the challenges, the DND and AFP “cannot be divided because we have a mission.”

The mission, according to Teodoro, is “to preserve and protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of the Philippines; maintain peace and order; work together with allies to make, not only the Philippines, but this region – the Indo-Pacific Region – and the world a better place to be in.”

Brawner, for his part, shared that the military will focus on the continuous development of materiel and capabilities through the AFP modernization program this year, as well as the organizational development of its reserve force.

“It is through these transformative efforts that we aim to elevate our military capabilities across all dimensions. The new year marks the genesis of a more dedicated, professional and modernized Armed Forces of the Philippines,” he stated.

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PNP Chief Police Gen. Benjamin Acorda offers a toast during the PNP New Year’s Call at Camp Crame in Quezon City on Jan. 12, 2024. (Photo by PNP)

At Camp Crame, PNP Chief Police General Benjamin Acorda Jr. outlined key goals and initiatives for the police organization with an emphasis on their “five focused agenda”.

The five focused agenda are designed to improve the police force’s personnel morale and welfare, community engagement, integrity enhancement, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) development, and honest law enforcement operations.

He said the PNP will also boost its current force by developing its infrastructure and enhancing the capabilities of its personnel through training and equipment acquisition.

He also recognized the collective efforts of the PNP in 2023 and credited their achievements to the “dedication and exceptional work of everyone who went beyond their duties.”

“These achievements are the result of our collective efforts and the unity that binds us together,” Acorda said during the PNP’s New Year’s call at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

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