Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio on Monday ordered the country’s security sector to “show no mercy against criminals and terrorists.”
In a speech during her meeting with security officials, Duterte-Carpio noted that although they have not discussed specific matters on insurgency, the security sector was clearly instructed on the treatment of law and state violators.
Duterte-Carpio, who was designated as the country’s officer-in-charge (OIC) while President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is on a state visit to Indonesia and Singapore, led the meeting on the current security status and efforts to maintain peace and order in the country.
“Our objective was to strengthen existing coordination and enhance interagency cooperation on issues concerning our national security and the country’s development… Our policy against criminals and terrorists and those that support and espouse their ideologies of violence should be hardline,” she said.
Targets to strengthen interagency linkages were also set during the meeting.
Among the topics discussed was the rape of four teachers in Camarines Sur, and how to speed up the investigation and arrest of the person responsible, said Duterte-Carpio, who concurrently heads the Department of Education.
Last month, four teachers were preparing for the upcoming class reopening when an armed man entered the premises of an elementary school in Ocampo, Camarines Sur, on Aug. 9 and allegedly raped them in broad daylight.
The DepEd had earlier assured the victims of assistance and increased security at the school.
Among the attendees were Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Lt. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro, Philippine Army chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., Philippine National Police deputy chief for administration Lt. Gen. Jose Chiquito Malayo, Bureau of Fire Protection Fire Director Louie Puracan, Philippine Coast Guard commandant Adm. Artemio Abu, Philippine Air Force acting commanding general Maj. Gen. Arthur Cordura, Philippine Navy vice commander Rear Adm. Caesar Bernard Valencia, and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology chief Jail Dir. Allan Iral.
The country’s military chief said Monday’s meeting was part of the Vice President’s role as the overseer of the Office of the President’s operations while Mr. Marcos is on a state visit.
Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez signed Special Order No. 75 designating Duterte-Carpio as OIC to “take care of the day-to-day operations in the Office of the President” during Marcos’ state visit.
Under the order, Duterte-Carpio was also assigned to “oversee the general administration of the Executive Department.”
If necessary, Duterte-Carpio may “act for and on behalf of the President, except on matters that the President is required by the Constitution to act in person, during this time that the President is outside the Republic of the Philippines from 04-07 September 2022.”
The order also requires all departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the government to assist Duterte-Carpio in the discharge of her functions as OIC.