MANY were surprised at the announcement of Philippine National Police (PNP) Directorate for Operations chief Director Camilo Casco-lan as the new National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief. Not because of any reason but merely that he is a low-key kind of guy.
Before Director General Oscar Albayalde got installed as the new Philippine National Police chief replacing now retired Gen. Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa, a lot of names were cropping up as possible replacement for the NCRPO post. Funny but most of them though, were being floated by the persons concerned themselves.
Apparently, the so-called ‘connections’ and popularity did not do the trick. With the choice of Cascolan, it is clear that service record, integrity, character, competence and achievements were the topmost bases for selection as thus affirmed by Albayalde himself, whose appointment is also one clear proof that the ‘palakasan’ did not play a role when President Rodrigo Duterte chose Dela Rosa’s replacement.
Cascolan, according to those who know him from Adam and who fondly call him ‘Picoy’, is a ‘silent worker’ who gets things done swiftly, surely and efficiently without expecting even a small pat on the back. He is also a highly-principled and incorruptible police officer, whose thirst and enthusiasm for great accomplishments and perfection is unquenchable.
Before that, he was chief of the Taguig City Police Office from 2008 to 2010 and was in fact one of the handful who were being considered to replace Dela Rosa, although he does not really mind and is in fact happy that the equally-deserving Albayalde clinched the post. Under his rein, Taguig City became the Best Police Station in Southern Police District.
With a Master in Public Management Degree from the University of the Philippines in Visayas in 1995, Cascolan started his stint as a junior officer of the Special Action Company, in Parang, Maguinda-nao from May 1986 to December 1987 and Operations Officer of the newly formed RSAF. It was in Malabang, Lanao del Sur where he was able to confiscate more than 100 long, high-powered firearms.
One of the highlights of his long-running career where he has effectively held numerous important posts, was when he became the provincial director of Compostela Valley where he conceptualized a strategic plan not only for counter-insurgency and anti-criminality but also for disaster preparedness and response. Said strategy indeed helped strengthen peace and order through the establishment of five ‘Area Management Committees’ and joint patrol with the Philippine Army and law enforcement areas of COMVAL. Further, small-scale miners’ ID system, motorcycle sticker system, and heightened security in PNP detachments and other vital installations were implemented by Cascolan in that area.
He also prevented rebel harassment of PNP detachments/camps and made ticklers (PNP Notebook), which was adopted by the PNP organization.
Further, he proposed, launched and implemented the Command Policy on the Relief of Chiefs of Police or “Blue Book”, which assesses the unit commanders on various areas of responsibility. This improved the overall performance of the police and helped institutionalize performance-based evaluations among the personnel.
When he became PRO-ARMM’s deputy regional director for operation (DRDO), he implemented strategies in Parang, Ma-guindanao, securing and controlling its boundaries from RIDO and other threat groups, so that until now, the whole of Parang remains safe and secure.
In Marawi City, he was able to reduce to zero the abduction cases, decreased shooting incidents that resulted in the arrest of illegal drug offenders.
Later as deputy regional director for administration, he resolved a hostage-taking incident in one of the hotels in Jaro, Iloilo and when in July 2016, he was tasked by Dela Rosa to lead the Directorate for Operations -- which is behind the operational plans of the 180,000-strong police force -- he crafted the PNP’s anti-illegal drug campaign or the Project Double Barrel, anchored on then Chief PNP Bato’s concept of Tokhang, the “knock and plead” strategy and ‘Project High Value Target’ operational strategy. Further, he formulated a simple, practical, and holistic PNP Operational Strategy or the Enhanced Managing Police Operations (E-MPO) to support the anti-illegal drugs operations and in keeping with the present challenges in the field of law enforcement, internal security and public safety.
His priority programs for now are uplifting the morale and welfare of all PNP personnel, instilling more discipline and internal cleansing, continued implementation of ‘Double Barrel’ (anti-drug operations), strict enforcement of the PNP’s Operational Strategy or the Enhanced Managing Police Operations (E-MPO) and anti-corruption activities.
Given just a bit of his character and career profile, it is clear we can sleep soundly at night knowing we have a highly-competent, principled and a brilliant officer at the helm of the NCRPO. To top it all, he is an upright man.
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