New Comelec official named; Albayalde assumes as PNP chief

Published April 19, 2018, 3:16 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Genalyn Kabiling and Aaron Recuenco

President Duterte has appointed Court of Appeals (CA) Associate Justice Socorro Inting as new commissioner of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for a term of seven years.

New chief of the Philippine National Police Director-General Oscar Albayalde, right, takes his oath before President Rodrigo Duterte during the turnover-of-command ceremony Thursday, April 19, 2018 at Camp Crame in Quezon city  (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez / MANILA BULLETIN)
New chief of the Philippine National Police Director-General Oscar Albayalde, right, takes his oath before President Rodrigo Duterte during the turnover-of-command ceremony Thursday, April 19, 2018 at Camp Crame in Quezon city
(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez / MANILA BULLETIN)

Malacañang announced this Thursday, the same day that Director General Oscar Albayalde, erstwhile National Capital Regional Police Office (NCRPO) director, assumed as chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The President signed the ad interim appointment of Inting to the Comelec last April 17 with a term expiring on February 2, 2025. Inting, who hails from Davao City, will take the place of Arthur Lim who retired from the poll body last February.

A law graduate from Ateneo de Davao University, Inting was appointed to the CA by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2009.

She previously served as regional trial court judge in Manila for nine years, and in Makati for three years. Before joining the judiciary, she worked as a public attorney and eventually a prosecutor.

The President has yet to fill the other vacancy in the Comelec left vacant with the retirement of former commissioner Christian Robert Lim, also last February.

SAF-type training for PNP

Albayalde, who assumed the top PNP post in a turnover ceremony presided by President Duterte at Camp Crame in Quezon City, said that from now on, newly recruited policemen must undergo a police commando-type basic training before they are given assignments.

Albayalde, who used to be a member of the Special Action Force (SAF) in his junior officer years, said his move is to ensure that discipline will be instilled to every new cops, both non-commissioned officers (Police Officer 1) and commissioned officers (from Police Inspector).

“All our recruits and new officers shall be required to undergo standard SAF training before they get deployed in the different regions,” said Albayalde in his speech yesterday.

He said that based on his observations, those with SAF training are more disciplined compared to those who only underwent basic trainings.

The PNP, however, is not the agency which trains newlyrecruited cops, including cadets from the PNP Academy, as it is being done by the Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC).

“We shall impose and breathe discipline 24/7 and implement reforms in all levels in the PNP. First, we will show respect both to ourselves and to the public. Because genuine public service I believe is anchored on respect,” said Albayalde.

“Self-respect is what guide our morals as individuals and our collaborative action as an organization – we wear our uniforms properly and with pride, we do not sleep while we are on duty, and we do not betray our oath of office by engaging in illegal activities,” he added.

This is a proper way, according to Albayalde, to make sure that every policemen is worth the big salary increase that was implemented in January this year.

“If we want to win the trust of the Filipino people who pays our salary – which the President doubled recently – we will serve with all honesty, honor and integrity,” said Albayalde.

The new PNP Chief also instructed all regional directors and provincial commanders to conduct regular inspections on all police stations, similar to what he did when he was still NCRPO director.

By doing so, Albayalde said, the PNP leadership would be able to ensure that every policeman would work well.

“As much as I enjoy conducting surprise inspections, I may not be able to reach all of our 2,766 police stations nationwide. So I expect our Provincial and City Directors to conduct these surprise inspections to regularly assess the operational readiness of our forces on the ground. I will be accessible 24/7 and I expect all our commanders to be accessible anytime of the day too,” said Albayalde.

Reshuffle starts

Meanwhile, Director Camilo Pancratius Cascolan, one of the contenders for the top police post, has been designated as the next NCRPO chief in an initial revamp following the change of police leadership.

Cascolan is a classmate of Albayalde from Philippine Military Academy Class 1986 wherein retired national police chief Ronald dela Rosa also belongs.

“I will be replaced by Director Cascolan ay the NCRPO. He is qualified and he performs well,” said Albayalde.

The position that would be left by Cascolan as head of the Directorate for Operations will be assumed by Chief Supt. Mao Aplasca, a member of the PMA Class 1987.

Aplasca will be replaced by Chief Supt. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar as regional director of the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) regional police, while Senior Supt. Joselito Esquivel will assume the leadership of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) which will be vacated by Eleazar.

Other appointees

Meantime, Malacañang announced several other government appointments, including Susan PinedaMercado as special envoy of the President for global health initiatives from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018.

Also appointed were Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) lawyer Manuelito Luna as commissioner of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission.

Other new appointees are Juan Revilla as member of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB); Antonio Jaminola, director I of the Bureau of Internal Revenue; Ma. Christina Abalos, Director III of the Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution-Department of Justice; Jose Ernesto Gaviola, Director IV of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples; Edgardo Clemente, member representing the private sector of Commission on Population board; Jeffrey Ian Dy, Director III of Bureau of Customs; Danilo Oraye Mendez, member of the Civil Aeronautics Board; Orville Ballitoc, Presidential Legislative Liaison Officer III; and Mario Madrero, Assistant Schools Division Superintendent of the Department of Education.