SIX years from now, the Last of the Mojicans,–actually the last senior Philippine National Police official from the Philippine Military Academy will retire from the force leaving the police organization sans any Peemayers after graduates of the elite institution ruled the organization since it was created in 1991.
I’m referring to Brigadier General Jose Melencio ‘Tateng’ Nartatez Jr., a member of PMA ‘Tanglaw-Diwa’ Class of 1992 who will retire from the force on March 19, 2027. With the inevitable retirement of the youngest members of PMA Class 1992 from the PNP five or six years from now, the country must be prepared to see the PNP being ruled by products of the PNP Academy.
At present, PNPA graduates are already occupying key PNP positions that will serve as their ‘training ground’ once they occupy the top PNP echelon. Although some PNPA graduates in 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994 are already 1-star police generals or are set to get their star-rank very soon, many of them are set to retire before 2027.
That would leave members of PNPA Classes 1995 and up-those who have many more years left in the service after the retirement of members of PMA Class 1992 to lead the police organization. I hope and pray that future PNP chiefs, members of the PNP Command Group and directors of National Operational and Administrative Support Units as well as the 17 Police Regional Offices from the PNPA would be guided by the Lord Almighty as they ‘serve and protect’ our land.
Last Thursday, my good friend, Major Gen. Arnel Escobal of PMA ‘Hinirang’ Class of 1987 retired from the force after years of outstanding government service. The lawyer-general was the PNP Director for Investigation and Detective Management before his retirement. He has been succeeded by Brigadier Gen. Jireh Omega Fidel, a member of PMA ‘Makatao’ Class of 1989 who will retire on September 15 next year, giving him enough time to earn his 2nd-star.
Prior to that, Escobal, the elder brother of Police Regional Office 11 director in Southern Mindanao, Brig. Gen. Filmore Escobal of PMA ‘Sambisig’ Class of 1991 also served as the PNP Director for Integrated Police Operations-Eastern Mindanao. He also was formerly a director of the Highway Patrol Group and the Aviation Security Group and was previously a PRO5 director in Bicol region.
Maj. Gen. Escobal’s retirement actually brought to only four the remaining members of PMA Class 1987 in the PNP, led of course by the hardworking PNP chief, General Gilor Eleazar who will retire this coming November 13.
Yes, Peemayers in the PNP are indeed being considered as members of a ‘vanishing tribe’ after effectively leading the organization since it was created in 1991. When he was still the PNP chief from November 2020 to May 8 this year, now retired Gen. Debold Sinas still has nine mistahs in the force.
However, the number went down to just four this week with the mandatory retirement of Escobal at the age of 56. Today, the only PMA Class 1987 members in the PNP are Gen. Eleazar, Lieutenant Generals Jojo Vera Cruz and Bong Dickson and Major Gen. Alfred Corpus.
Lt. Generals Vera Cruz and Dickson, who happened to be teammate from the PNP Executive Basketball Team are respectively the PNP Deputy Chiefs for Administration and Operations. Vera Cruz is also the concurrent commander of the Administrative Support for Joint Task Force COVID Shield while Dickson, a former Cordillera police director is the commander of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield.
However, Vera Cruz will retire from the PNP on March 8 next year while Dickson will mark his 56th birthday 19 days later. Then there is my ‘tukayo,’ Maj. Gen. Alfred Corpus who is currently the PNP Director for Operations. Corpus previously commanded the Tarlac Police Provincial Office and the Eastern Police District. He also became a PNP Director for Integrated Police Operations-Western Mindanao until he was appointed as PNP operations chief on September 3 last year. Corpus will retire from the PNP this coming September 15.
When he headed the P209,000-strong PNP for a brief 2-months last year, now retired Gen. Pikoy Cascolan of PMA ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986 used to brag about his ‘Dream Team’ composed of members of the Fort del Pilar’s Delta Company.
Gen. Cascolan said his ‘Dream Team’ is composed of top-caliber officers known
known for their competence and good service reputation and I believe he really knows what he had been saying since he had been with these officials since their training days at Fort del Pilar.
Of course, his Dream Team is composed of then PNP-DCA Lt. Gen. Eleazar, then PNP-DCO, now retired Lt. Gen. Cesar Binag, also of PMA Class 1987, then PNP The Chief Directorial Staff, then Maj. Gen. Vera Cruz as well as then PNP Director for Intelligence, now Lt. Gen. Ferdie Divina of PMA ‘Maringal’ Class of 1988 who is now the PNP Director for Integrated Operations-Southern Luzon. Divina will retire on May 2 next year.
Cascolan used to tell his audience that his Dream Team is composed of his fellow Deltans Eleazar, Binag, Dickson and another PMA Class 1987 member, now retired PNP Director for Comptrollership, Maj. Gen. Ringo Licup.
Right now, the other Deltans comprising Gen. Eleazar’s Team include three members of PMA Class 1988, PNP The Chief Directorial Staff, Lt. Gen. Dionards Carlos, PNP Director for Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Dennis Agustin and PNP Director for Logistics, Major Gen. Lito Casimiro. Carlos will retire on May 8 next year while Agustin will retire this coming November 5. Casimiro will mark his 56th birthday this coming October 2.