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April 29, 2023 Alfred P. Dalizon 6452 views

Alfred DalizonPRESIDENT Bongbong Marcos Jr.’s decision to appoint General Benjie Acorda of Philippine Military Academy’ Sambisig’ Class of 1991 as his 2nd PNP chief has made the ‘Sambisigs’ the ruling class in the 228,000-strong police force this year.

The recent retirement of former PNP chief, General Jun Azurin and erstwhile PNP Director for Comptrollership, Maj. Gen. Jess Cambay also brought to only 36 the number of Peemayers left in the PNP which in 2027 will be dominated by deserving officers from the PNP Academy.

As I have written in a previous column, there are only a very few members of the last four PMA Classes or the ‘Last of the Mojicans’ currently leading the police force who will soon be gone-retire actually-to be remembered by our dear nation.

The PMA ‘Sambisig’ Class of 1991 actually still has 13 active members in the police force led by Gen. Acorda, the erstwhile PNP Director for Intelligence known for being the so-called ‘Humble Servant from the North.’ Gen. Acorda will bow out from the police force this coming December 3.

The others include Lt. Gen. Mike Dubria, The Chief of the Directorial Staff or TCDS of the PNP or the 4th highest-ranked police official in the country. Dubria will retire on December 20, 2024.

The other 3-star PNP generals from PMA Class 1991 are Lt. Gen. Benjie Santos, the erstwhile PNP Deputy Chief for Operations who will retire this coming October 9; Lt. Gen. Vic Danao, a former PNP Officer-in-Charge and now the Area Police Command-Western Mindanao commander who will retire this coming August 10;

Lt. Gen. Filmore Escobal, the Area Police Command-Eastern Mindanao commander who will retire this coming November 5; and Lt. Gen. Patrick Villacorte, the Area Police Command-Visayas commander who will bow out of the service this coming November 28.

Three other members of the same Class are 2-star generals namely Maj. Gen. Jon Arnaldo, the PNP Director for Human Resource and Doctrine Development (retiring on October 3, 2024); Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Peralta, the PNP Director for Operations (retiring on August 24 next year); and Maj. Gen. Robert Rodriguez, the PNP Director for Personnel and Records Management (retiring on July 15, 2025).

Three others are currently 1-star generals and all PNP Regional Directors namely Brigadier Gen. Neil Alinsangan, the Police Regional Office 9 director in Western Mindanao (retiring September 5, 2025); Brig. Gen. Rommel Marbil, the PRO8 director in Eastern Visayas (retiring on February 7, 2025); and Brig. Gen. Jimili Macaraeg, the PRO12 director in Soccsksargen region (retiring on March 20, 2024).

Another member of the Class is Brig. Gen. Tony Yarra, a former Quezon City Police District director and Calabarzon police director who is now the Police Security and Protection Group director. He will retire from the force this coming August 4.

Following the retirement of Gen. Azurin last Monday and of Maj. Gen. Cambay last April 20, there are only two members of PMA ‘Makatao’ Class of 1989 left in the police force namely Lt. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia, the PNP Deputy Chief for Administration who will retire on January 26 next year; and Maj. Gen. Val de Leon, the PNP Director for Information Communications and Technology Management who will retire from the force on May 7 this year.

Then there are the seven remaining members of PMA ‘Bigkis-Lahi’ Class of 1990 led by Lt. Gen. Pipoy Natividad, the commander of the Area Police Command-Northern Luzon who will retire this coming August 23.

The others are all 2-star police generals. Major Gen. Ely Cruz, the PNP Director for Investigation and Detective Management and head of the Special Investigation Task Group 990 probing the controversial anti-drug operation in Sta. Cruz, Manila in October last year; Maj. Gen. Ronnie Olay, the PNP Director for Logistics who will retire on June 13;

Maj. Gen. Ato Bisnar, the erstwhile PNP The Chief Directorial Staff, now with the Office of the Chief,PNP, the youngest member of the Class who will retire on September 30, 2024, enough time for him to get his 3rd-star if luck will smile on his side; Brig. Gen. Flynn Dongbo, the PNP Deputy Director for Logistics who will retire on July 12, 2024;

Maj. Gen. Oliver Enmodias, the new PNP Director for Research and Development who will retire from the force this coming November 12; and Maj. Gen. Ritchie Posadas, the National Police Training Institute director who will retire on June 8, 2024.

Then there are the members of PMA ‘Tanglaw-Diwa’ Class of 1992 in the police force led by PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, Maj. Gen. Jonnel Estomo, a former National Capital Region Police Office director who will retire from the police on November 25 next year.

At present, there are only 14 members of PMA Class 1992 in the PNP led by Maj. Gen. Estomo. Three other members of PMA Class 1992 are already 2-star generals namely Ma. Gen. Bernie Banac, the PNP Director for Plans (he will retire on September 26, 2026); Maj. Gen. Mario Reyes, the PNP Director for Police-Community Relations who will retire on December 1 next year; and Maj. Gen. Eric Noble, the current PNP Academy director who will retire on January 16, 2024

The others are Brig. Gen. Bong Caramat, the current PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group director who will retire on October 2, 2024; Brig. Gen. Sydney Hernia, the director of the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (retiring on October 20, 2025); Brig. Gen. Mafie Bazar, the new Area Police Command-Northern Luzon Deputy Commander (retiring on October 15, 2024). Caramat, Hernia and Bazar are set to get their 2nd-stars sooner or later;

Brig. Gen. Ronald Lee, a former PNP-CIDG the PNP Deputy Director for Intelligence (retiring on May 5, 2025); Brig. Gen. Leo Francisco, the Police Regional Office 6 director in Western Visayas (retiring on October 2, 2025); Brig. Gen. Patrick Obinque, the Police Regional Office 5 director in Bicol region who will retire on May 9, 2026;

Brig. Gen. Belli Tamayo, retiring on April 18, 2024; Brig. Gen. Sydney Villaflor, the PNP-CIDG deputy director who will retire on September 2, 2025; Brig. Gen. Matthew Baccay, a lawyer and currently the PNP Deputy Director for Personnel and Records Management (he will retire on September 21, 2026;

And last but not the least, Brig. Gen. Tateng Nartatez, the former Police Regional Office 4-A director in Calabarzon region who was installed as the new PNP Comptroller two weeks ago with the retirement of Cambay. Brig. Gen. Nartatez, the youngest member of PMA Class 1992 in the PNP and the last Peemayer who will bow out of the service on March 19, 2027, is highly-touted as the last ‘Bugo-Bugo’ that will head the police force during the PBBM administration.

All of them my friends since their much younger days, the remaining Peemayers in the police force—two of them from PMA Class 1989 and seven from PMA Class 1990- have found themselves being led by an underclassman-a ‘Sambisig’ in the person of Gen. Acorda.

Many of my sources have told me that the public should expect a forthcoming reshuffle of key PNP posts as Gen. Acorda picks his Team of officers who has his full trust and confidence. However, the new PNP chief said that everything would be done based on policy and guidelines, as well as qualifications based on merit, ability, capability, and moral ascendancy. He likewise emphasized that the PNP Senior Officers’ Selection and Placement Board would be empowered to ensure that no rules are violated during the process.

The new top cop has also called for unity within the PNP organization which he said must be guided by the “Serbisyong Nagkakaisa’ and the Peace and Order Framework under the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028 of the PBBM Administration.

Members of PMA Class of 1991 are actually calling for a ‘Unified PNP’ wherein commanders treat everyone as a member of their own family and where those who commit mistakes are fully disciplined but are not subjected to public shaming which embarrasses not only them but their families and friends too.

What a good way to start for the top cop. This brings to my mind the many Monday breakfast members of the ‘Sambisig’ and I shared at the office of their mistah, now retired Brig. Gen. Yoyong Agnila.

I had many fond memories of those regular Monday breakfast organized by my good friend Yoyong when he was still the Deputy Chief of the PNP Public Information Office during the former PRRD administration. Many ‘Sambisigs’ including Acorda, Dubria, Santos, Danao, Escobal, Villacorte, Peralta, Arnaldo, Rodriguez, Macaraeg, Yarra and my good old friend, now retired Brig. Gen. Roque Vega as well as retired Colonel Dong Chico and even MMDA’s Col. Bong Nebrija, a certified PNP or a ‘Philippine Navy Pilot’ would troop to Yoyong’s office to join a simple breakfast after the flag-raising rites.

Many of them were still Colonels then including the silent and unassuming Acorda. Members of the future ‘Ruling Class’ in the PNP and I would talk everything under the sun then, without any inkling that then Col. Acorda is destined to become the country’s 29th PNP chief.

That’s what we call destiny.