Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence Tea Banh said the National Military Police has changed over the years through in-depth reforms and has become a model institution in providing quality services to protect the people.
Banh made the remarks while presiding over the 27th anniversary celebration of the establishment of the National Military Police on July 14, at Kambol Military Police School in Kambol district, Phnom Penh.
He said the Military Police cooperate with relevant ministries, institutions and authorities to combat natural resource crimes such as deforestation, illegal logging, forest fires, illegal wildlife exports, state forest land encroachment, illegal mining and other offences like drug and human trafficking.
“The Military Police has been actively involved in the protection of society and humanity through disaster rescues, traffic accidents, fires and other cases while gaining the trust of the government.
“It has had to do an about-face through in-depth reforms in the structure and strengthening of roles and responsibilities, human resources development, capacity building, and changing of attitudes.
“The Military Police has become a model institution in providing quality services as a servant to protect the people,” Banh said, adding that all these took time and effort to accomplish.
He said the Ministry of National Defence is very proud of the officers and soldiers of the Military Police who have demonstrated courage, loyalty and patriotism.
Adhoc senior investigator Soeng Sen Karuna said that in principle, the Military Police is an independent body that is responsible for the safety and security of society and its people. But the institution is still guided by political influence and lacks independence.
“The Military Police has an important role to play in monitoring non-compliance with the rules and the enforcement of the law by other forces that do not perform their duties properly,” he said.
He said the Military Police has not fulfilled its duty based on independence or neutrality, which is something it has always been criticised for by the people and civil society.
Deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) and commander of the National Military Police General Sao Sokha said at the ceremony that the Military Police’s achievements speak for themselves.
Last year alone the Military Police conducted 2,837 criminal investigations, found 4,345 suspects after investigations, and arrested 3,981 suspects.
“The Military Police has participated in rescue operations 6,332 times, including helping people in traffic accidents, strong winds, lightning, fire, flood, rain, building collapse, warehouse collapse and other cases,” he said.