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July 9, 2023 Alfred P. Dalizon 316 views

Alfred DalizonAFTER 10 days of ‘agony,’ the long wait is over for the senior PNP officials who finally assumed their new positions of major responsibility on Friday in simple ceremonies presided over by my friend, PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, Lieutenant General Mike Dubria.

Prior to that, PNP chief, General Benjie Acorda told me it was not a reshuffle’ but just a filling-up of vacancies which had a ripple effect.’ However, what is clear here is that the movement—whether it’s a filling-up of vacancies, a revamp, a reorganization or a reshuffle—ordered by the top cop was fully supported by the Malacañang Palace.

This after all eight officials recommended by Gen. Acorda to take over their new posts were not changed or replaced in the last minute as a result of the Napolcom deliberation on the matter ordered by DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos.

Finally, the eight led by incoming Major Gen. Tateng Nartatez have taken over their new posts, ready to face the challenges ahead. Supposedly, the eight were set to assume their new positions on Tuesday last week.

However, the mass turnover rites at Camp Crame did not push thru after Sec. Abalos stopped the planned ceremony and said Gen. Acorda’s recommendation must first be cleared by the National Police Commission and finally approved by President Bongbong’ Marcos.

I learned from many sources that Gen. Acorda, who was then attending an out-of-town conference, immediately sought for a meeting with Sec. Abalos to thresh out the issue. The two spoke to each other shortly after the top cop arrived in Manila to settle the fiasco.

Having covered the PNP since its creation in 1991—the year when Gen. Acorda and his mistahs from PMA ‘Sambisig’ Class of 1991 graduated from Fort del Pilar, I know exactly where the PNP chief gets his authority to place his trusted officials to positions of major responsibility.

It’s called Section 26 of Republic Act 6975 which established the PNP under the reorganized DILG. Section 26 of RA 6975 says that the PNP chief shall have “command and direction of the PNP; the power to direct and control tactical as well as strategic movements, deployment, placement, utilization of the PNP or any of its units and personnel, including its equipment, facilities and other resources.”

However, Sec. Abalos, who is also a lawyer, had explained that Sec. 6 (3) (f) of Napolcom Memorandum Circular No. 2019-001 provides that the “the assignment/designation of the [concerned positions] shall be submitted to the Commission for confirmation prior to the submission of the same to the President for approval.”

Also, the DILG chief noted that the Napolcom’s authority in this regard stems from Sec. 6, Art. XVI of the 1987 Constitution, which provides: “The State shall establish and maintain one police force, which shall be national in scope and civilian in character, to be administered and controlled by a national police commission.

He added that the “civilian control over the police is a hallowed principle of our fundamental law. Rest assured that the Napolcom will carry out its duty to oversee and enhance the administration of the PNP.”

I’m not a lawyer but I believe that the PNP chief since 1991 has been clothed with the power and authority to order a PNP reshuffle and choose officials whom he trusts to deliver. Thus, a major reason why many major reorganizations of the police force in the past went on smoothly is that each of the former Commanders-in-chief also gave their imprimatur to a PNP chief’s plan.

Following the postponed assumption of office of the eight officials last week, the DILG secretary and the PNP chief talked to each other to resolve the issue. I learned from many sources that Sec. Abalos agreed later to convene the Napolcom en banc to confirm the official orders.

Sec. Abalos even wanted the Napolcom confirmation be expedited, I learned. To the uninformed, the postponed mass turnover had an effect on the concerned units since Special Orders for Unit Reassignment were already issued by the PNP Directorate for Personnel and Records Management last June 26.

Thus, in the absence of another official order nullifying the previous Special Relief Orders, the eight officials were deemed relieved from their posts and thus, automatically can’t sign memorandums, reassignment orders, vouchers and other documents in their respective offices.

In some of the affected offices, the respective Chiefs of Staff or Executive Directors were temporarily tasked to lead their unit until their respective new chiefs officially assumed their positions.

As a result of Napolcom approval of Gen. Acorda’s order, Brig. Gen. Nartatez took over as the new National Capital Region Police Office director vice Major Gen. Edgar Alan Okubo.

Nartatez, a member of PMA ‘Tanglaw-Diwa’ Class of 1992 will be the last Peemayer to retire from the PNP on March 19, 2027.

Maj. Gen. Okubo of PNP Academy Tagapagpatupad’ Class of 1992 is now the new PNP Director for Police-Community Relations. Okubo replaced Maj. Gen. Mario Reyes who was named as the new PNP Director for Logistics while Brig. Gen. Ronald O. Lee, the former PNP Deputy Director for Intelligence is now the new PNP Director for Human Resource and Doctrine Development, a position that will earn the latter his long-delayed 2nd-star.

Lee took over Major Gen. Jon Arnaldo who replaced Nartatez as PNP Director for Intelligence. Maj. Gen. Eric Noble , the erstwhile PNP Academy director, was designated as the new PNP Director for Investigation and Detective Management. Noble was replaced as PNPA director by Brig. Gen. Samuel Nacion.

Brig. Gen. Alan Nazarro , the erstwhile Deputy Director of the PNP Directorate for Information Communications and Technology Management, is now the new PNP Highway Patrol Group director vice his classmate from PNPA ‘Tagapagkalinga’ Class of 1991, Brig. Gen. Raul Bargamento who has already retired from the police force.

Reyes, Lee and Noble are all classmates of Nartatez from PMA Class 1992 while Arnaldo is a classmate from PMA Class 1991 of Gen. Acorda. Nacion, the former PNP-DIDM deputy director is a classmate from PNPA Class 1992 of Maj. Gen. Okubo.

All’s really well that end’s well. It’s a happy outcome from last week’s unpleasant situation. In Tagalog, we say ‘sa hinaba-haba man ng prusisyon, sa simbahan din ang tuloy. Thanks to the dialog between the DILG and the PNP chief.