I’M doffing my hat off to outstanding PNP units and officers and men, some of them old friends who were honored by President Duterte and PNP chief General Ronald ‘Bato’ de la Rosa last Wednesday for their major contributions to the police’s campaign against criminality and corruption as well as the thing called good governance which are all contributory factors in the record 49 percent reduction in average crime volume in the country since last July.
They are Senior Superintendent Val de Leon of the Police Regional Office 11 in Southern Mindanao, a friend way back when he was still a Police Inspector and just a fresh member of PMA Class 1990; Supt. Reynald Ariño of the elite PNP Special Action Force; Inspector Lito Pirote of the PNP Anti- Illegal Drugs Group, one of the best anti-narcotics officers the PNP has ever produced.
The Police Regional Office 2 headed by my good friend Chief Supt. Gilbert Sosa of PMA Class 1984; the PNP Special Action Force headed by Chief Supt. Benjie Lusad of PMA Class 1985; the PNP Information Technology Management Service headed by Chief Supt. Edwin Nemenzo, also of PMA Class 1985.
The Bulacan Police Provincial Office headed by Senior Supt. Bong Caramat of PMA Class 1992; the Iligan City Police Office headed by Senior Supt. Leony Roy Ga; the Sta. Rosa City Police Station headed by Supt. Giovanni Martinez; the Nagcarlan Municipal Police Station headed by Chief Inspector Leopoldo Ferrer Jr..
The Regional Public Safety Battalion 13 headed by Supt. Chito Bersaluna; the Pangasinan Provincial Public Safety Company headed by Supt. Virgilio Pascua Jr.; the Zamboanga City Public Safety Company headed by Supt. Ariston Limos; the Women And Children Protection Desk of PRO 11 in Southern Mindanao headed by Chief Inspector Jacqueline Antero;
The Regional Police Human Rights Desk of PRO 3 headed by Supt. Hercules Ileto; the Police Strategy Management Unit of the Cordillera Police headed by Cordillera Deputy Regional Director for Administration, Chief Supt. Bob Quenery, another PMA Class 1985 member; the Regional Special Training Unit of PRO 2 in Cagayan Valley headed by Supt. Jojo de la Cruz; the Police Regional Office 5 headed by Chief Supt. Omar Buenafe, a member of PMA Class 1986 who happens to be my ‘neighbor’ in Antipolo City.
The Cebu Police Provincial Office headed by a fine product of the PNP Academy, Senior Supt. Joe Macanas; the PRO13 in Caraga region headed by Chief Supt. Bax Felix of PMA Clss 1985; the Regional Special Operations Task Group Pangasinan formerly headed by Chief Supt. Marlou Chan, also of PMA Class 1985; the Rizal Police Provincial Office headed by Senior Supt. Adriano Enong; the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group headed by my good friend, soon-to-be Director Roel Obusan, a lawyer from PMA Class 1986.
Senior Police Officer 1 Mhay Rubio of the Police Regional Office 3 in Central Luzon; PO2 Jonathan Robles, also of the PRO 3; and Non-Uniformed Personnel Rosana Tupaz of the PRO6 in Western Visaya and Mary Jeanne Nadres of the PNP Directorate for Plans.
During the 115th Police Service anniversary, I also happened to see an old friend who goes by the name of retired Gen. Catalino ‘Litoy’ Cuy’ of the PMA Class 1981. I talked briefly with the official who is currently a DILG Undersecretary and he even asked me to join him at the PNP Executive Lounge. I begged off his invitation since we had to sit in our designated chairs before the program starts. Minutes later, the silent and unassuming former PNP-SAF commander would be sitting beside President Duterte as he was representing DILG Sec. Mike Sueno.
A WAKE-UP CALL
Gen. de la Rosa’s statement that at least three police regional directors are in danger of being replaced for alleged ‘poor performance’ in the war against drugs obviously have given many the signal that they are not irreplaceable and may find themselves in the ‘freezer’ in the next three months if they will not improve their performance.
However, a day after making the statement, the PNP chief said he was ‘very satisfied with the NCRPO’s efforts and accomplishments on the war against illegal drugs’ and even commended his mistah from PMA Class 1986 and my basketball teammate, NCRPO director, Chief Supt. Oca Albayalde for a job well done in keeping the streets of Metro Manila safe while going hammer and thongs against illegal drug trafficking and abuse.
Let’s hear it straight from the PNP chief: “Narinig ko nagtatampo sa akin si Gen. Albayalde dahil sa balitang under-performing ang NCRPO. I told him personally, I’m very satisfied with his performance. Sinabi ko lang yun kasi gusto ko na magperform sila some more,” he said.
Gen. de la Rosa said that from July 1 to August 11, a total of 572 armed suspects have been killed in encounters with the police. Another 7,830 suspected drug traffickers were also arrested across the country while a total of 564,109 confessed drug dealers and users surrendered during the period as a result of the PNP Oplan: Tokhang.
Majority of the accomplishments were scored by the NCRPO, records showed. From July 1 to August 11, the NCRPO said their conduct of the Project: Double Barrel and Oplan: Tokhang ordered by Gen. de la Rosa has already resulted in the surrender of 37,212 confessed drug pushers and users. The crackdown also has so far led in the arrest of 2,604 drug personalities and the killing of 256 others in gunbattles with different NCRPO units.
The PRO6 headed by Chief Supt. Jose Gentiles also said they have noted a significant 17.3 percent reduction in crime rate in Western Visayas due to their aggressive anti-narcotics campaign in the region. One of the three officials mentioned by Gen. de la Rosa, Gentiles attributed the reduced crime volume in the region to their relentless anti-drugs campaign which from January to last month has already resulted in the arrest of 9,069 target drug personalities or 125 percent of their target list.
The Western Visayas police director incidentally was the Regional Director of the PRO10 in Northern Mindanao for only 29 days during the election period. Yesterday, the PRO10 said that five armed drug traffickers including a retired police sergeant were killed during separate firefights in the region the other day. Another 23 were arrested. This is the result of Gen. de la Rosa’s warning.