‘Colorful and exciting’: Azurin satisfied with PNP’s victories under his command
MANILA, Philippines — Former Philippine National Police (PNP) Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. reminisced on Monday that his journey with the police force has been “colorful and exciting, ” detailing the organization’s accomplishments under his watch.
According to Azurin, although many saw him as a seemingly “meek” individual, his leadership style possessed “action, decisive, strong, and results-oriented,” while his work principle was propelled by the pursuit of “challenging the status quo.”
“My career has been colorful and exciting—many of the highlights merit recognition while the rest better be left archived in my heart and my memory,” Azurin said during his retirement honors held at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
“Today, as I retire and stand before you, Mr. President [Ferdinand Marcos Jr.], I can honestly say that I have achieved the goals I set for you and the Filipino people,” he added.
Among these feats, Azurin disclosed that the PNP noted a decrease in total crime volume nationwide by 9,038, which he claimed contributed to the decline in the inflation rate in the country from 8.6 to 7.6 percent in March this year.
He also cited the seizure of 990 kilos of shabu and the arrest of now dismissed-police Master Sergeant Rodolfo Mayo and specific high-value targets in Manila last year.
Aside from these, Azurin said that the PNP received more than 800 courtesy resignations from its 956 generals and colonels in line with the government’s efforts to remove officers involved with illegal drugs from their position.
“We promptly responded to allegations of high-ranking officers’ involvement in drugs by filing our courtesy resignations along with other colonels and generals, following SILG (Secretary of the Interior and Local Government) Abalos’ appeal,” Azurin said in his speech.
“As part of a five-man advisory group, we worked together with impartiality to conclude the proceedings efficiently,” he added, pertaining to the committee assigned to evaluate the records of police generals and colonels who resigned from their posts and were allegedly involved in illegal drugs as part of the PNP’s internal cleansing efforts.
Other achievements Azurin earlier mentioned were the identification of alleged masterminds responsible for the killing of Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa and the filing of charges against former Bureau of Corrections chief Gerald Bantag and others.
He also cited the successful rescue of former Sen. Leila de Lima from the Abu Sayyaf Group in the PNP Detention Center, and the development of the Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo’s slay case.
Given the accomplishments Azurin cited, he asserted that he remained true to his promise of ensuring peace and order during the first year of Marcos’ administration.
“These promises, I think I have fulfilled in the past eight months of my stint—with the help of my counterparts in the armed forces and the uniformed services,” he said.
He thanked the former PNP chief, now former Sen. Panfilo Lacson, and other retired officials who led the police force before him.
Azurin also acknowledged the efforts of Abalos, although there were reports that they have not been on speaking terms since mid-April and yet their relationship remains “very professional.”
Azurin and Abalos were spotted shaking each other’s hands twice during the ceremony. And even though they sat beside each other halfway through the event, their interaction was limited.
“Thank you also to Atty. Benjamin “Benjur” Abalos, Jr., secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government,” he said.
“Thank you also to my OCPNP (Office of the Chief PNP) family, to all PNP officers, PNCO (Police Non-Commissioned Officer), NUP (Non-Uniformed Personnel), PNP Press Corps and other media friends – thank you for joining me in my journey for the last eight months as your chief PNP. We were able to accomplish our goals through our collective efforts,” Azurin added.