PNP major revamp surprises some officials | Inquirer News

PNP major revamp surprises some officials

By: - Reporter / @dexcabalzaINQ
/ 04:50 AM August 10, 2022
Newly installed Philippine National Police chief Lt. Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. STORY: PNP major revamp surprises some officials

Newly installed Philippine National Police chief Lt. Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. (Photo from the Facebook page of Police Regional Office 1)

MANILA, Philippines — Newly installed Philippine National Police chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. on Tuesday ordered a major revamp that affected at least 70 officials, including his second and third in command, and several other high-ranking generals holding regional and provincial posts.

Some considered the movements a demotion, particularly in the case of Lt. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia. From being the deputy chief for administration, the PNP’s second top post, he was reassigned as chief of the Area Police Command (APC) in the Visayas.

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His replacement, Lt. Gen. Jose Chiquito Malayo, was chief of the directorial staff, the PNP’s fourth highest rank.

Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao, the previous deputy chief for operations, the PNP’s no. 3 post, was named the new head of APC Western Mindanao. Before Azurin’s appointment, he served as PNP officer in charge for almost three months.

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Break with tradition

Maj. Gen. Benjamin Santos and Maj. Gen. Arthur Bisnar will replace Danao and Malayo, respectively.

Azurin’s move came as a surprise as traditionally, those who hold the second, third, and fourth highest positions are not reassigned to posts outside of the command group — consisting of the highest-ranking posts in the PNP — until their retirement.

Sermonia and Danao, who were contenders for PNP chief, still have a long way to go before they reach 56, the mandatory retirement age for policemen. Sermonia is set to retire on Jan. 26, 2024, and Danao on Aug. 10, 2023.

The APCs used to be the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations, which were held by two-star major generals. During the time of former PNP chief Debold Sinas, the posts were renamed as APCs and given to three-star lieutenant generals.

There are five APCs in the PNP: Northern Luzon, Southern Luzon, Visayas, Western Mindanao and Eastern Mindanao. The heads of the APCs are part of the PNP directorial staff.

Before his appointment as the 28th PNP chief, Azurin was director of the APC in Northern Luzon.

Other new APC acting commanders are Maj. Gen. Patrick Villacorte in Eastern Mindanao; and Maj. Gen. Felipe Natividad in Northern Luzon.

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Azurin also designated Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo as the new director of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) in place of Natividad, who served for five months.

The five district directors of the NCRPO were also replaced: Col. Jaysen de Guzman for Quezon City Police District, Col. Andre Dizon for Manila Police District, Col. Kirby John Kraft for Southern Police District, Col. Wilson Asueta for Eastern Police District and Col. Ponce Peñones for Northern Police District.

With their appointment, the five will be promoted to the rank of brigadier generals.

The PNP defended the reshuffle of personnel occupying key posts, saying it was aimed at providing opportunities and career growth.

“At the same time, this move shall strengthen and empower strategic offices and units with the placement of more seasoned and experienced senior officers at their helms to further hone the operational and administrative undertakings against criminality, enforcement of the law and maintenance of peace and order,” Brig. Gen. Roderick Augustus Alba , chief of the PNP Public Information Office chief, said in a statement.

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