A MEMBER of Philippine Military Academy Class 1988 is the new acting head of the Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Service who has the full backing of PNP chief Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. de la Rosa in ferreting out rogue policemen particularly those directly or indirectly involved in illicit drug activities.
Chief Superintendent Leo Angelo D. Leuterio, turning 52 on August 28, has been instructed by Gen. De la Rosa to head the PNP-IAS citing his track record as a police officer known for being a disciplinarian. Leuterio became the first member of PMA Class 1988 to become a one-star general last February 2 and would also become the first to become a 2-star general with his present position.
Gen. De la Rosa maintained he would rather have a policeman than a civilian to head the police body tasked to investigate erring cops. According to the PNP chief, he deems it necessary that a police official heads the PNP-IAS given the dangers that the task carries.
‘’As of now, I find it necessary to maintain a police officer as head of IAS because of the reason that a lot of police officers, and senior police officers are involved in drug trade. ‘And if I put a civilian head in the IAS, madali lang po i-threaten ang civilian, baka di makalaban sa mga pulis na scalawag,” the PNP chief said.
Gen. De la Rosa however said that if things have settled, they will eventually appoint a civilian to become the PNP Inspector General as required by law.
The IAS is mandated to conduct inspections and audits on PNP personnel and units; investigate complaints and gather evidence in support of an open investigation; conduct summary hearings on policemen facing administrative charges; file appropriate criminal cases against policemen before the court; and provide assistance to the Office of the Ombudsman in cases involving the personnel of the PNP.
Leuterio replaced Director Alexander L. Roldan, a member of PMA Class 1985 who went on non-duty status prior to his retirement this coming December 9. Roldan became a 2-star police general on July 20, 2012.
The designation of Leuterio came in the wake of continuing calls for the government to strengthen the PNP-IAS by beefing-up its manpower and resources and equipping it with adequate authority to go after erring police officers and men as the PNP pursues an aggressive campaign against criminality, drug trafficking and rogues in uniform under the Duterte administration.
The PNP-IAS was created to become the “Guardian of Police Integrity” under Republic Act 8551 or the PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998.