High hopes for new PNP unit directors

September 14, 2019

CONGRATULATIONS are in order for the newest set of police field commanders designated by Philippine National Police chief, General Oscar Albayalde over the past four weeks amid high hopes they will deliver and won’t turn up like square pegs in a round hole.

Many of these new officials landed their new jobs after spending quite some time in their old jobs, silently working while nobody is looking but accomplishing big as they say. Thru this piece, I hope and pray that  they will be blessed by the Good Lord with all the luck they need to prove they are worthy of their new positions.

As the PNP leadership continues to make true on its word that qualified officers would have their fair chance of promotion and assignment in the force, I think however that more has to be done to further improve the system minus the usual internal and external interference, in short, what we need is an assurance that only the most qualified and the best and the brightest would win the race always.

The list is actually a mixture of graduates of the Philippine Military Academy, the PNP Academy and even thru Lateral Entry led by the highest-ranked of them, Major General Rey Biay, a classmate from PMA ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986 of Gen. Albayalde.

The others are Brig. Gen. Bong Fajardo, Brig. Gen. Alfred Corpus and Brig. Gen. Rey Lawas of PMA ‘Hinirang’ Class of 1987, Brig. Gen. Joyet Esquivel Jr. of PMA ‘Maringal’ Class of 1988, Brig. Gen. Jireh Fidel of PMA ‘Makatao’ Class of 1989 and Brig. Gen. Ely Cruz of PMA ‘Bigkis Lahi’ Class of 1990.

The PNPAyers or  ‘Lakans’ are Brig. Gen. Gilbert Cruz of PNPA Class 1986 and Brig. Gen. Noli Bathan and Colonel Ronnie Montejo, both members of PNPA Class 1989. Another is Brig. Gen. Johnson Almazan, an officer who entered the PNP thru Lateral Entry in 1990.

The silent and unassuming Biay who will retire on November 9, 2020—that makes him the 3rd youngest member of PMA Class 1986 after PNP Comptroller, Maj. Gen. Joevic Ramos (November 25, 2020) and PNP Director for Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Tim Pacleb (November 23, 2020) is now the new PNP Director for Research and Development.

Biay was replaced by Fajardo, the erstwhile PNP Highway Patrol Group director who will mark his 55th birthday on Wednesday next week and is expected to get his 2nd-star within the next few days.

Corpus, the erstwhile PNP Training Service director is now the new Police Regional Office 12 director in Central Mindanao while Lawas replaced him at the PNP-TS.  The hardworking Esquivel is now the new PRO13 director in Caraga region replacing Cruz who will get his 2nd-star as new PNP Director for Integrated Police Operations Northern Luzon.

Fidel, formerly the Executive Officer of the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management on the other hand is the new PNP Engineering Service director vice Brig. Gen. Elmer Cabreros of PMA Class 1988 who was designated as the new PNP Deputy Director for Operations vice Lawas.

Almazan, a known ‘Davao boy’ is now the new Eastern Police District director vice Brig. Gen. Bathan who replaced Cruz as Southern Police District director. On the other hand, Montejo is now the new Quezon City Police District director vice Esquivel, a positon that would earn him his star-rank.

The latest round of PNP reorganization was triggered by the recent retirement of some senior PNP officers including my friend, Maj. Gen. Eric Velasquez, a lawyer from PMA ‘Sandiwa’ Class of 1985 who retired as PNP-DIPO Northern Luzon director after more than 38 years of sterling service in the police and the military on Friday last week.

I’m happy to note that finally, my ‘tukayo’ Alfred Corpus has been given an RD position replacing another friend, Brig. Gen. Ely Rasco of PMA Class 1986 who retired last Friday after a brilliant service in the defunct Philippine Constabulary and later the PNP. Belated birthday greetings my Dear Ely.

Montejo actually became the 2nd PNPA graduate to become a QCPD director after now retired Brig. Gen. Elmo San Diego who was the QCPD director until 2010.  My highly-reliable sources have told me that Montejo was the top pick of the influential Iglesia ni Cristo to replace Esquivel as QCPD director as early as last year. Montejo is not new to the QCPD since he is an oldtimer at the Q.C.’s Finest, from being a station commander until he eventually got his full colonel rank after commanding the QCPD District Public Safety Battalion upon a recommendation from another friend during the time of PNP Officer-in-Charge, now retired Gen. Dindo Espina.

Cruz, who commanded the PRO8 in Eastern Visayas and the PRO13 for a combined nearly 20 months will get his 2nd-star soon with his DIPO post, enough time for him to enjoy the rank and bring more positive changes in the PNP until he retires from the police force on November 8 next year.

Corpus is the 8th member of PMA Class 1988 to become a PNP Regional Director under Gen. Albayalde. The others are Maj. Gen. Gilor Eleazar of the National Capital Region Police Office; Brig. Gen.  Jigs Coronel of PRO3 in Central Luzon ; Brig. Gen. Tom Apolinario Jr. of PRO4-B in Mimaropa region; Brig. Gen. Arnel Escobal of PRO5 in Bicol region; Brig. Gen. Dodong Sinas of PRO7 in Central Visayas region; Brig. Gen. Loy Morales of PRO11 in Southern Mindanao; and Brig. Gen. Bong  Dickson of the Cordillera Police Regional Office.

On the other hand, Esquivel is the latest PMA Class 1988 member to hold an RD position, the others being Brig. Gen. Bong Orduña of PRO1 in Ilocos-Pangasinan region;  Brig. Gen. Rene Pamuspusan of PRO6 in Western Visayas; Brig. Gen. Dionards Carlos of PRO8 in Eastern Visayas region; and Brig. Gen. Marni Marcos Jr. of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao police regional office.