Transfer of 150 cops from Region 7 to Metro Manila reportedly causing demoralization at NCRPO

Published November 3, 2019, 4:29 PM

by Rica Arevalo

By Aaron Recuenco

More than 150 policemen from Central Visayas were suddenly re-assigned at the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), reportedly triggering massive displacement of assignments in Metro Manila in favor of the newcomers.

PNP (MANILA BULLETIN)
PNP (MANILA BULLETIN)

And there could be more as new orders have been reportedly approved to accommodate more policemen for NCRPO assignments.

Reliable police sources said that almost all of the newcomers were brought in by Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas when he was designated as the NCRPO director last month.

The one-time, big-time transfer of assignment put to question the propriety of an official bringing with him what is described in the Philippine National Police (PNP) as an “entourage” to a new assignment.

Normally, reliable police sources said, a senior police official would only bring about 10 of his men to his new assignment, most of the time, two to three of his trusted officials, aides and security personnel.

As of Wednesday last week, the Manila Bulletin learned that the total number of policemen pulled out of their Central Visayas assignments was at 143—composed of 33 Police Commissioned Officers (PCOs) and 110 Police Non-Commissioned Officers (PNCOs).

Of the PCOs, four of them have the rank of Police Colonel, eight were Police Lieutenant Colonels, nine were Police Majors, five Police Captains and seven Police Lieutenants.

“This is the first time I heard of such a big number. Senior officers do not do that because it will certainly have negative implications on the units where such a large number of policemen would be pulled out,” a senior officer told the Manila Bulletin.

“The problem there is how would the NCRPO personnel feel about this reassignments. It’s like telling NCRPO personnel ‘Hey, I do not trust you all so I decided to bring them all here’. What would be put at stake here is the morale of the officers and men of the NCRPO,” another senior police official, who also declined to be named for fear of reprisal, told the Manila Bulletin.

RED TEAM?

Earlier, Sinas disclosed that he deployed a number of personnel in Metro Manila to serve as his Red Team, or motorcycle-riding cops who would spy on suspected erring cops in Metro Manila.

All the members of the Red Team are from Central Visayas.

Sinas earlier said that the deployment of Red Team proved effective in the campaign against scalawag cops in Central Visayas.

The NCRPO has a strength of about 27,000 uniformed personnel. The Central Visayas regional police, on the other hand, has more than 9,000 uniformed personnel.

Given the big disparity in the strength of the NCRPO and Police Regional Office 7, police sources said that pulling out 150 policemen from the latter to be assigned to Metro Manila already appeared to be inappropriate.

“Also a big issue here is the availability and accommodation requirements to ensure proper placements of those who would be assigned to Metro Manila and those who would replace the posts that would be vacated in PRO7,” a source said.

“If this is for monitoring of scalawag policemen, then I believe it is a duplication of duty of IMEG (Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group) and the PNP Intelligence Group which is now working hand in hand to catch the so-called ninja cops and other scalawag policemen,” he added.

Police sources said unit commanders and rank and file of the NCRPO are beginning to have apprehensions that they could be booted out of their assignments to accommodate the newcomers.

“The apprehension particularly of the unit commanders is that the Visayan Red Team would invent offenses against them in order to be replaced by the new set of officers from Central Visayas,” another police source said.

“If that is the case, then that is favoritism in the offing,” the source added.

Bad precedent

Reliable sources told the Manila Bulletin that the all of the new 150 policemen from Central Visayas were already given orders to occupy posts in Metro Manila.

The reassignment orders of the nearly 150 policemen to Metro Manila was presumed to have been approved by Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, Officer-In-Charge of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

“You cannot move such a large number of personnel from one assignment to another without the approval of the sitting Chief PNP,” the source said.

Sources said that it was the first time in the history of the PNP that such massive re-assignment orders were given the go-signal.

“This is appears to be abuse of authority and discretion of whoever recommended and approved such orders which is not setting a good example to the organization,” a senior police official said.

“What if the other newly-appointed regional directors also requested for that kind of massive re-assignments, what would happen now to the PNP,” he added.

The PNP has been hounded with controversies, starting off with the alleges involvement of former PNP chief Oscar Albayalde in the alleged recycling of illegal drugs and the rumblings of senior officials on the alleges favoritism in the recent massive revamp.

 
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