“More benefits, legal assistance”: Duterte calls for more benefits for uniformed services

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MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte pushes again for better benefits for police and military personnel as he called on Congress in his last State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday to pass laws increasing their benefits.

“I call on Congress to adopt a unified system of separation, retirement and pensions for military and uniformed personnel to maintain the government’s fiscal flexibility and provide adequate benefits and compensation to men and women in uniform,” he said. declared Duterte.

Apart from that, the president also said Congress must pass a law that would institutionalize the provision of free legal services to police and military officers facing work-related cases.

“It is also high time for us to pass a law that would provide free legal assistance to AFP and PNP agents, enlisted to assist them against charges arising from incidents related to the performance of their duties. official functions, ”he said.

Duterte had repeatedly vowed to “protect” police and soldiers at the forefront of his bloody drug war amid mounting international criticism.

The president admitted he made it a “priority” to boost morale and strengthen “poorly equipped” security forces.

“Our armed forces were ill-equipped to deal with internal and external threats as the police were overwhelmed with crime and drug trafficking … That’s why I made institution building a priority.”

In 2018, police, soldiers and other uniformed personnel began receiving higher salaries after Duterte approved a joint congressional resolution changing their base pay schedule.

“Indeed, I am proud of the achievements of our troops in protecting our nation against all threats to our democratic institutions,” said Duterte.

Duterte has been accused of favoring police and military personnel, some of whom were appointed to multiple ministerial positions after their retirement.

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