“To those involved in corruption, get out now!”
That’s the first order of Alan Purisima, a close friend of President Aquino, issued Tuesday upon assuming the leadership of the Philippine National Police.
Purisima replaced Director General Nicanor Bartolome, who bowed out of service three months ahead of his mandatory retirement, at the President’s behest.
In his speech after he was sworn in as the 18th chief of the PNP, the former security aide of the President vowed to lead the policemen in treading Mr. Aquino’s matuwid na daan (straight path).
“We shall start by being true to ourselves. We shall start by espousing the truth and nothing but the truth. We should also stay true to our sworn duty to protect the people and fight for justice,” Purisima said at the turnover of command ceremonies at Camp Crame, headquarters of the 148,000-member PNP.
A graduate of the Philippine Military Academy (Class 1981), Purisima was a member of the Presidential Security Group assigned to protect the family of the late President Corazon Aquino.
At the age of 53, he will be one then longest-serving PNP chiefs. He will occupy the post until Nov. 21, 2015.
In his speech, Bartolome said his replacement was a “worthy successor” and expressed confidence that Purisima “will carry on as well with the same dedication and commitment to the ideals of the police service.”
“As I carried on from where my predecessor left off, I now step down confident in the fact that I am relinquishing command over the PNP to an officer who has the same heart and passion for service,” Bartolome said.
Bartolome, who thanked the President for giving him the chance to lead the PNP for one year and three months, proudly noted that the national police was able to fully meet its requirement for short firearms during his tenure.
“I am pleased to say that accountability and transparency in the police force now characterize all stages of procurement,” he said.
“We focused on the continuous development of competencies, the enhancement of individual skills and specialization with a premium on investigation, resource management and disaster response skills.”
Bartolome turned emotional as he thanked his family and the retired members of his personal staff who, he said, “filled me with great and colorful memories of battles won and lost.”
Purisima spelled out his leadership agenda which, he said, would be anchored on defining the role of every police officer and enhancing their skills as law enforcers.
“We shall enhance the competence of each and every police officer. We shall undertake organization development and reforms. We shall instill discipline within the ranks,” he said.
He said the PNP under his command would also push for “excellence in the performance of our duties and institute professionalism at all levels of the organization.”
“Through this strategic focus, we will bring to the fore a new breed of professional police officers who share one vision and objectives. Professional police officers who are resolutely bonded by the PNP core values and principles,” Purisima said.
Under his watch, Purisima said the PNP would implement a “no multitasking policy and system” in all police units nationwide.
“This system … defines the role of each and every policeman, a role for every position that shall contribute to the overall attainment of the unit’s mission,” he said.
Purisima said he introduced this system and conducted an organization audit when he served as director of the National Capital Region Police Office from May 2011 until August this year.
“We found out that there were many weaknesses, such as duplication of jobs, unnecessary and tedious processes, too many personnel assigned to perform menial tasks and other dysfunctions which have encouraged inefficiency, delinquency and irregularity,” he said.
“How do we ensure we keep the organization’s cutting edge at its sharpest? We have to maintain our strategic focus.”