He once berated the Philippine National Police (PNP) on live television, calling the institution "corrupt to the core," but during the graduation of newly commissioned public safety officers, President Rodrigo Duterte was in a considerably better mood, poking fun at cops and their supposed womanizing ways.
"Ito pa namang pulis, ito ang pinakamaraming asawa. Alam ba ninyo 'yan? I've been mayor for 23 years. Every time I attend the burial of a police – either he died because of sickness or sa disgrasya – in about 5 burials, may dalawa talaga diyan na tatlo, apat ang pamilya. Sabay-sabay mag-iyak," said Duterte, as he went off-script during the graduation rites of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) Masidlak Class of 2017.
(Cops have the most wives. Did you know that? I was mayor for 23 years. Every time I attend the burial of a cop – either he died because of sickness or an untoward incident – in about 5 burials, two of those have 3 or 4 families. They cry at the same time.)
Duterte earlier promised to set up a trust fund for the children of slain cops, assuring police that if they die in the line of duty, the government would take care of their families.
"Automatic kaagad 'yan (That's automatic)," he said, stressing the forms of assistance that the government could offer.
He added: "'Pag nagbisita ako ng patay, nandiyan 'yung DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) pati PMS (Presidential Management Staff). At huwag na lang 'yang mga pera-pera but there's money. But what is really very sure is that 'yung asawa ninyo, puwera na lang kung tatlo, apat, mahirapan tayo diyan. 'Di natin alam kung saan ilagay."
(When I visit slain cops, the DILG and PMS are there. Let's not discuss money, but it's there. But what is really very sure is that your wife will be secured, unless you have 3 or 4. We'll have a hard time with that. We wouldn't know who to give the money to.)
Aside from the trust fund, Duterte said unemployed widows of slain cops would be given employment opportunities at the nearest barangays through the DILG.
Duterte's barrage of jokes made the crowd – composed of the graduates, PNPA cadets, top government officials, and the relatives of graduates – erupt in laughter several times.
He again quipped: "Bakit kayo gano'n? Eh mayor ng Davao tatlo lang. Kayo apat. Anong klase? Nagkukumpetensiya kayo eh."
(Why are you like that? The mayor of Davao only has 3 [wives]. You have 4. What sort of situation is that? It's like we're competing here.)
Duterte is known to have very close ties to policemen. Many of the former police officials of Davao City and the Davao region hold plum positions both in the PNP and the rest of government. The PNP's chief, Ronald dela Rosa, is a Davao native and was once Duterte's police chief in the city.
The President said that during his time as Davao City mayor, he made it clear that police are not allowed to park their patrol vehicles near "cabarets" and "inns."
"Gano'n 'yan eh. So ang magandang babae diyan, pupunta doon sa gangster, may pera o 'yung pulis na matapang. 'Yan diyan. Kaya ang army wala eh. Sa bukid. Eh hindi na makakalabas ng kampo. Kayo patrol nang patrol. Puro babae ang pinapatrol, ayan, nagkaka-problema tayo," he said, again to the amusement of the crowd in Camp Castañeda.
(That's how it is. So the beautiful women there will either go to moneyed gangsters or the brave policemen. The army doesn't get to do that because they're in the mountains. They can't leave their camps. But police keep on patrolling. They keep on patrolling for women. That's how problems begin.)
While Duterte did not tell police to stop their supposed womanizing ways, he did caution them against the temptation to find other sources of income just to appease their mistresses.
Turning serious, the President said one's children should be their priority and that kids shouldn't be dragged into the mess if their policeman father is involved in illegal activities.
Reiterating previous pronouncements, Duterte also promised police that he would "protect" them if they get into trouble while doing their jobs. – Bea Cupin / Rappler.com