THE impending retirement of a number of senior Philippine National Police this month will trigger another reorganization of key police positions, my sources from Camp Crame told me late last year. On Monday, PNP chief, General Oscar Albayalde confirmed that there are some names in their list but the influential PNP Oversight Committee is still deliberating on the candidates.
Among those set to retire this month are Director Noli Talino of the PNP Special Action Force and Director Eduardo Serapio Garado of the PNP Directorate for Police-Community Relations. Talino, a member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Maharlika’ Class of 1984 will retire on Monday next week while Garado, a lawyer from PMA ‘Sandiwa’ Class of 1985 will bow out of the service this coming January 22.
My highly-informed sources told me that being groomed to replace Garado is PNP spokesman and head of the PNP Public Information Office, Chief Superintendent Bong Durana of PMA ‘Maringal’ Class of 1988. On the other hand, a member of PMA ‘Hinirang’ Class of 1987, my basketball teammate Chief Supt. Clift Empiso is being eyed to replace Talino at the elite PNP-SAF. On the other hand, a shy and unassuming member of PMA ‘Tanglaw Diwa’ Class of 1992, Senior Supt. Bernie Banac is being eyed as the next PNP spokesman, a position that would make him the 1st member of his Class to become a 1-star police general. I would tell you that these 3 are quality officers who truly deserve a promotion.
For the record, Talino and Director Jonjon Miano are the last 2 PNP generals-members of PMA Class 1984 to retire this year. Miano will retire this coming January 30, nearly 30 months after he was replaced as PNP Director for Operations during the term of former PNP chief, now retired Gen. Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa and sent to the Personnel Holding and Administrative Unit.
Also to retire in the first few months of the new year are Cordillera Police Regional Office director, Chief Supt. Rolly. Nana, another member of PMA Class 1985 (March 15); PNP Information and Technology Management Service director, Chief Supt. Ato. Angara of PMA Class 1986 (January 20); PNP Finance Service director, Chief Supt. Marlon Ganzon also of PMA Class 1986 ( February 6); Police Regional Office 1 director, Chief Supt. Mol Sapitula of PNP Academy Class 1986 (April 25); and PNP Health Service director, Chief Supt. Ma. Antonietta C. Langcauon (March 12).
Expect members of PMA Classes 1987 and 1988 to become the new directors of the Cordillera and Ilocos-Pangasinan police regional offices as well as the ITMS and Finance Service sooner or later. I am keeping their names for the meantime. By the way, I learned that former Caraga police director, Chief Supt. Noli Romana yesterday took over as the new director of the PNP Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies (SOSIA).
Romana swapped position with his mistah from PMA ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986, Chief Supt. Rexson Acabado who is now the deputy director of the PNP Directorate for Integrated Police Operations-Eastern Mindanao.
I also learned that the PNP is also regularly evaluating the performance of its provincial directors as well as those who have been staying in their posts for quite some time now. Last Monday, I was told that at least 4 new police provincial and city directors were named by Gen. Albayalde.
They are new Tarlac Police Provincial Office director, Senior Supt. Jesus Rebua who replaced Senior Supt. Ritchie Posadas and new Angeles City Police Office director, Senior Supt. Narvin Mangune who replaced Senior Supt. Enrico Vargas. Posadas will return to the Police Regional Office 7 in Central Visayas while Vargas will go to the Nationla Capital Region Police Office.
Also relieved as Rizal police director was Senior Supt. Dionisio Bartolome Jr. who was transferred to the Police Regional Office 4-B in Mimaropa region after a few weeks stint as Rizal PD; Senior Supt. Pablo Labra II who was transferred to PRO4-B from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao police regional office; and Senor Supt. Agustin Tello who was relieved from the PNP EOD/K-9 Group and is now with the ARMM police.
There are various reasons behind the relief and reassignment of a police official holding a sensitive posts. It could be either that he has been staying in his post for a much longer time and his relief would give the chance for another officer to get a promotion; the relief would pave the way for the designation of the relieved official to a position that would qualify him eventually for promotion to star-rank in the future; it could be due to the thing called politics; and worst of them all, it could be that the official was relieved due to poor performance in the fight against drugs, criminality, terror and anti-illegal gambling,
These developments in the PNP came as Gen. Albayalde called on the 190,000-strong organization to stay apolitical as they embark on another major mission to ensure honest, orderly and peaceful elections that will shape the country’s history this year.
“First, we are once again at a crucial time in our history with the forthcoming conduct of the National and Local Elections on May 13 and the Plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Organic Law on January 21,” he said on Monday during the traditional New Year’s Call to the PNP chief by PNP commanders.
“Again, the order of the day is for the police to remain non-partisan and to not patronize any political party. And as I have been reminding you these past months, sharpen your focus and double your efforts on addressing the risk factors such as the private armed groups, loose firearms, gun-for-hire groups, intense political rivalries and other factors that may affect the peaceful conduct of elections,” the PNP chief declared.
Gen. Albayalde rallied his men to do their best “to help make the elections as safe, secure and as orderly as we can for the sake of the Filipino people and our nation’s future. While we have been preparing hard these past months, let us not stop reviewing and improving our operations for these events.”
This year, the PNP chief said he wants his ground commanders to focus more on supply reduction efforts and on stronger anti-drug operations against high value targets; to be harsh on uniformed personnel who insist on defying the law and being involved in the drug trade and other criminal activities; and to be familiar with and extra vigilant and alert against all other threats like criminality, terrorism and other peace and order concerns in their respective areas.
“Do not wait for untoward incidents to happen. Be proactive and work harder towards preventing such incidents, and the best way to do this is to intensify community engagements and forge new ones especially in critical areas across the nation,” he said. However, he told his men to continuously assess and improve operational readiness in order to be able to respond promptly and effectively to any eventuality. “We do not want more police casualties during operations. We want criminals behind bars and punished for their crimes.” Hoping for the best for the PNP this year.