By MB Online and Martin Sadongdong
Senior Supt. Bernard Mollanida Banac has been appointed as the new spokesperson of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday.
Banac will replace Chief Supt. Benigno Durana, Jr. as acting chief of the PNP Public Information Office effective January 22.
Durana, meanwhile, was designated to head the Directorate for Police Community Relations, qualifying him to be promoted to the rank of Police Director or an equivalent of being a Major General in the military.
The new PNP spokesman vowed to continue the gains obtained by the PNP information office under Durana’s leadership. He also expressed support to the policies of President Duterte and PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde.
“My marching order is to effectively communicate the programs and policies of the PNP with utmost transparency and of great service to the public,” Banac said.
Prior his appointment, Banac served as Sorsogon police chief. He was also part of the Directorate for Operations as Chief of the Internal Security Operations Division.
He also served as the chief of the Diplomatic Protection Unit of the Police Security and Protection Group (PNP-PSPG); and senior executive assistant to former PNP chief, Ricardo Marquez.
June last year, Banac was assigned as the Deputy Director for Administration of the Supervisory Office on Security and Investigation Agencies.
Banac graduated from the Philippine Military Academy in 1992. In 1999, he finished his Masters in Development Management at the Asian Institute of Management and gained his second masters, this time in Management, at the Philippine Christian University in 2011.
Banac started his career as a Special Action Force (SAF) company commander from 1992 to 1996. He then served as a security aide to then Interior and Local Government Secretary Robert Barbers from 1996 to 1998.
From there, Banac started working his way up, having been assigned as the precinct commander of Greenhills Police in San Juan City and officer-in-charge of Kamuning Police Station (PS-10) of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) from 2003 to 2004; and an instructor of TABA Cops Program at SBMA, Subic Bay, Zambales from June 2004 to October 2005.
His first international stint came in November 2005 when he was deployed as a technical adviser of the United Nations Police Arms Embargo Cell of UN mission in Abidjan, Ivory Coast from November 2005 to May 2007; and operations and planning officer of the UN mission in Pristina, Kosovo from May 2008 to March 2009.
He underwent various local and international police and military trainings and courses during his UN assignment.
In 2012, Metrobank Foundation recognized Banac one of the Country’s Outstanding Policemen in Service (COPS).
Following his new assignment, Banac is now qualified to be a Chief Superintendent or a one-star Police General.