“The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.” —Robert Peel
Police Regional Office-6 (PRO-6) top brass should stop worrying about Police Lt. Colonels Jovie Espenido and Mannan Muarip being “outside the kulambo.” The two, along with 13 others, were recently relieved of duty and reassigned to Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters, specifically, the office of PNP chief, Police Director General Archie Gamboa.
The reshuffle, based on Special Order No. 2020-1079, issued by PNP acting directorial staff chief, Police Major General Cesar Hawthorne Binag, and signed by PNP Personnel and Records Management director, Police Major General Reynaldo Biay, is not a big deal and must be obeyed as failure to do so may endanger national security. The PNP has been conducting such practices since its inception in 1991.
PRO-6 director, Police Brigadier General Rene Pamuspusan, should not worry and wait for a reason. What’s the use? The office of PNP chief cannot be compelled to explain every decision and the PNP, as an organization, cannot be influenced by just anybody. There is nothing special about the reshuffled officials. Some of them may have been boosted by the media but they remain law enforcement officials who follow the chain of command and serve the community; they can’t choose their assignment.
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The World Health Organization (WHO) held a global research and innovation forum in Geneva, Switzerland earlier this week to mobilize international action in response to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
WHO director-general, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, stated: “Harnessing the power of science is critical for bringing this outbreak under control. There are questions we need answers to, and tools we need developed as quickly as possible. WHO is playing an important coordinating role by bringing the scientific community together to identify research priorities and accelerate progress.”
The event, which was organized in collaboration with the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness, brought together leading scientists, public health agencies, ministries of health, and research investors pursuing the development of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, among other innovations. Experts built on existing SARS and MERS research and identified knowledge gaps and research priorities in order to accelerate scientific information and medical products needed to minimize the impact of Covid-19.
As a result of the forum, a global research agenda will be formulated.
“Understanding the disease, its reservoirs, transmission, and clinical severity and then developing effective counter-measures is critical for the control of the outbreak, to reduce deaths and minimize the economic impact,” said WHO chief scientist, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan.
This will fast-track the development and evaluation of effective diagnostic tests, vaccines, and medicines; while establishing mechanisms for affordable access to vulnerable populations, along with facilitating community engagement.
According to WHO Health Emergencies Programme executive director, Dr. Michael Ryan: “The WHO research and development (R&D) blueprint is a global strategy and preparedness platform that drives coordinated development of drugs and vaccines before epidemics, and allows the rapid activation of R&D activities during epidemics. It speeds up the availability of the diagnostics, vaccines and treatments and technologies that ultimately save lives.”
Setting clear global research priorities for Covid-19 should lead to more efficient investments, high-quality research, and synergies among global researchers.
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Alex P. Vidal, who is based in New York City, used to be the editor for two local dailies in Iloilo./WDJ