Soon-to-retire General Acorda: ‘I never imagined I’d become chief PNP’
BAGUIO CITY, Benguet — “I never imagined that I would become the chief PNP (Philippine National Police),” General Benjamin Acorda Jr. said as he reminisced about the early days of his career while at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).
For him, it was destiny – and his learnings in the military academy – that brought him to where he is now.
Acorda was in Baguio City on Saturday as the PMA held a testimonial parade and review in his honor as he is set to retire from service on December 3.
“Everything parang nangyari lang because of parang destiny (Everything just happened because of destiny). I never imagined that I would become the chief PNP, but having passed through the rigors of academics, militaristic and leadership training, somehow it prepared me,” the PMA alumnus said in an ambush interview.
“For almost 37 years, ngayon lang ako nakabalik […] I can say that the PMA is a bastion of idealism. Kapag alumni ka, kung naliligaw ka man ng landas, kapag babalik ka parang tatayo ang balahibo mo and you will be reminded that sundin ulit ‘yung tamang daan,” he also said.
(For almost 37 years, it was only now that I was able to come back […] I can say that the PMA is a bastion of idealism. When you’re an alumni, if ever you’re losing your way, when you come back [here, it’s like] your hair will stand on end and you will be reminded to follow the right path again.)
Acorda, who belongs to the PMA “Sambisig” Class of 1991, became the 29th PNP chief last April 24, replacing retired general Rodolfo Azurin Jr.
Prior to his appointment, the Ilocano police official served as the chief of staff of the Civil Security Group, deputy director for operations of the National Capital Region Police Office, and chief of police of Northern Mindanao.
‘I did my best as a son of PMA’
As his mandatory retirement nears, Acorda hoped that the PNP was able to absorb his leadership’s five-focus agenda that includes gaining the trust and confidence of Filipinos.
“I don’t want to compare myself to others kasi kanya-kanyang focus, kanya-kanyang specialization. Ang masasabi ko lang I did my best as a son of PMA,” he said.
(I don’t want to compare myself to others because each has its own focus, each has its own specialization. All I can say is I did my best as a son of PMA.)
“Siguro kapag masasabi mo you did your best, you maximized your time. Kung napansin niyo hindi ako nagtravel kasi sabi ko sa sarili minsan lang ako dadaan magiging chief PNP so hangga’t maaari binuhos ko ‘yung oras ko,” he added.
(Maybe you can say you did your best when you maximized your time. If you noticed, I didn’t travel because I told myself that I would only be a PNP chief once, so as much as possible, I poured my time [here].)
Acorda said he plans to spend more time with his family after December 3, but if duty calls, he would certainly be willing to serve the country.
“For day one magiging Mr. Acorda. I leave up to the higher-ups kung sa tingin nila may maiambag pa ako sa bansa, who am I to refuse? Kung wala, sabi nga ng mga anak ko, ‘Dad please go home’,” he said.
(For day one [after retirement], I plan to be Mr. Acorda. I leave everything to my higher-ups if they think I can still contribute to the country, who am I to refuse? If not, then like what my children say, “Dad go home please.”)