I’M referring to members of the Philippine National Police Academy who have been given the chance to occupy key PNP positions or get the much-coveted star-rank under the watch of General Oscar Albayalde who is currently on an official trip abroad, five months before his official retirement from the police force this coming November 8.
At present, there are two of the 17 PNP Regional Directors are PNPAyers in the person of Brigadier General Gilbert Cruz of PNPA Class 1986 and Brig. Gen. Froilan Quidilla of PNPA Class 1987. Cruz, a member of PNPA Class 1986 returned as Police Regional Office 13 director in Caraga region on September last year as Gen. Albayalde proved that there is no ‘mistah, mistah’ for him when it comes to performance.
Cruz last year became the 2nd PNPA Class 1986 member who became a PNP Regional Director, the 1st being Brig. Gen. Mol Sapitula who finished his term as PRO1 director in Ilocos-Pangasinan region and retired at the age of 56 last April 25. Last May, Quidilla, the erstwhile PRO4-B Deputy Regional Director for Administration in Mimaropa region became the latest PNPAyer-RD after he replaced Brig. Gen. Ringo Licup of PMA Class 1987 as PRO9 director in Western Mindanao.
Truly a mean feat for the PNPAyers who have to jockey it out with Peemayers who understandably have the lock in the organization with the PNP chief, his Command Group and almost all members of the PNP Directorial Staff coming from the elite Fort del Pilar institution in Baguio City.
Yesterday, three members of PNPA Class 1989 were named to different key positions by the PNP leadership.
They include Brig. Gen. Noli Bathan, the erstwhile Deputy Regional Director for Administration of the Police Regional Office 11 in Southern Mindanao who was designated as the new Eastern Police District director.
Bathan replaced Brig. Gen. Chris Tambungan, a known disciplinarian from PNPA Class 1987 who was administratively relieved by National Capital Region Police Office director, Major General Gilor Eleazar due to a controversial incident caught on a police CCTV camera in San Juan.
It’s not the end of the world however for Tambungan who will retire this coming December 21. One positive thing in his career is that he was not relieved of his command due to a murder, a robbery-extortion or kidnapping case. He got the boot simply because he was caught on camera displaying his own brand of discipline to his men.
Bathan is a tough combat officer who used to be a Pasay City police chief and later the Deputy Regional Director for Operations of the PRO4-A in Calabarzon region before being transferred to the PRO11. On the other hand, erstwhile EPD Deputy Director for Administration and later officer-in-charge, Colonel Florendo Quibuyen was named as acting Executive Officer of the PNP Directorate for Research and Development.
Meanwhile, the silent and unassuming Col. Domingo Cabillan, the deputy of the PNP Finance Service was designated as acting Deputy Regional Director for Administration of the Police Regional Office 1 in Ilocos-Pangasinan region. As they always say, good things come to those who wait.
With their new positions, Quibuyen and Cabillan will automatically qualify for promotion to the star-rank and make them the latest PNPA graduates to become police generals. My friend, PNP Director for Personnel and Records Management, Maj. Gen. Lyndon Cubos said that the three were chosen based on merit and performance and upon the recommendation of the PNP Senior Officers Placement and Promotion Board.
Other PNPAyers or Lakans who are now holding key positions in the PNP are the following: my friend, Maj. Gen. Boyet Detran of PNPA Class 1986 who is presently the highest-ranked PNPA graduate in the PNP. Detran, the head of the PNP Directorate for Research and Development will retire on September next year;
Major Gen. Alfredo Valdez (PNPA Class 1986) of the PNP Directorate for Integrated Police Operations-Southern Luzon who will retire on January 5 next year; and Brig. Gen. Gene Tolejano (PNPA Class 1986) of the PNP Retirement and Benefits Administration Service who will retire on May 3 next year.
There is also my friend, Brig. Gen.-lawyer Noli Ozaeta, another PNPA Class 1986 member whom I heard has opted to retire early as director of the PNP Legal Service. Retiring at the age of 56 on February 26 next year, Ozaeta, my sources said is being recruited to join the office of former PNP chief-turned Senator-elect Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa.
While I was doing this piece, there is still no official word on who will be the next PRO6 director in Western Visayas vice my good friend, former PNP spokesman, Brig. Gen. John Bulalacao of PMA Class 1988 who will officially retire from the police force tomorrow. Also, there is still no word on who will be the new Cebu City Police Office director vice Col. Royina Garma, another PNPA graduate who will be the incoming general manager of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
sources many weeks ago told me that being considered to replace Bulalacao at the PRO6 are his PMA Class 1988 mistah, Quezon City Police District director, Brig Gen. Joyet Esquivel and Northern Police District director, Brig. Gen. Rolly Anduyan of PMA Class 1990.
However yesterday, I got the word that PNP Headquarters Support Service director, Brig. Gen. Rene Pamuspusan, also of PMA Class 1988 is already being considered to the same post. Many members of PMA Class 1988 are actually applying to become RDs in the PNP since they would be retiring in the next 2-3 years already. There are also the deserving members of PMA Class 1989 who are lining-up to become RDs too.
The next PNP reorganization comes in the wake of calls for a transparent, accountable, measurable, objective, and consistent system in its promotion and placement system to better address issues like the equity of promotion and assignment in the force.
Although congratulations are in order for the PNP leadership for having addressed the age-old problem on its placement and promotion, yet still, more has to be done to erase suspicions of a continuing ‘bata-bata’ system and political meddling in the organization. Just ask those who failed in their bid to become RDs or a police general after they were accused of ‘pocketing’ the funds of their offices in the past.