What does it take to become the head of the country’s police force?
For Police Lieutenant General Dionardo Bernardo Carlos, it was his good track record and reputation that paved the way for his appointment as the 27th Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
“People didn’t really expect me to be the 27thh Chief PNP. I have no political backing and only counted on my track record, service reputation, merit, seniority and a few friends who believe in me,” says the new PNP Chief.
Prior to his appointment as head of the PNP, PLtGen Carlos, an alumnus of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Maringal” Class 1988, was the 4th in command of the PNP as The Chief of Directorial Staff under his predecessor, PGen Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar.
He held key positions in the PNP as Director for Integrated Police Operations (DIPO) in Visayas, The Director for Police Community Relations (DPCR), Director for Information and Communication Technology Management (DICTM), Director of the Highway Patrol Group, Director of the Aviation Security Group, Regional Director of Police Regional Office 8 in Eastern Visayas, and Provincial Director of Police Provincial Offices in Negros Oriental and Quezon province.
PLtGen Carlos also served as Chief of the PNP Public Information Office (PIO) and PNP Spokesperson at the National Headquarters and Chief Regional PIO of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and also performed staff function in the Center for Police Strategy Management (CPSM) and Office of the Chief PNP.
Road to public service
PLtGen Carlos was not particularly keen on entering public service. As a child, he was exposed to the navy life as he grew up in a military camp at the Naval Base in Sangley Point, Cavite. But at that time, he didn’t know that the navy or the military is part of the government.
After graduating as Salutatorian of his class at the Luzonian University Foundation, he was eager to pursue a college degree, but the only way was to get a scholarship. He spent a year at the University of the Philippines-Diliman before he decided to enter the PMA in 1984.
PLtGen Carlos is a highly-skilled and well-rounded police officer. He is highly trained in special police operations, particularly in crisis management and response, urban counter-revolutionary warfare, counter-hijacking, explosive ordinance disposal, VIP security, and anti-terrorist operations.
He has also received various recognitions, including the Metrobank Foundation Inc., Outstanding Policeman of 2009, and the JCI-HOPE Manila award as an Honorable and Outstanding Policeman in the Service in 2013.
Successful and peaceful 2022 elections
PLtGen Carlos only has six months to serve as PNP Chief, but there is a great task ahead for him — ensuring the orderly and peaceful conduct of the 2022 national and local elections.
At the Change of Command Ceremony at the PNP last Nov. 12, PLtGen Carlos said, “I commit the remaining months of this service to perform my mandate to serve and protect my countrymen, with all the efforts I can muster and with the full and sincere heart of service. With the Lord at the center of my service, and with only the best interest of the Filipino people foremost in my heart, I will focus on the task ahead. We will perform professionally for peaceful elections.”
This is on top of the other priorities he has set forth for the PNP. He vowed a stronger fight against insurgency, terrorism, and the dismantling of private armed groups, and implement even more strongly the PNP’s programs against criminality and illegal drugs. He also said that the police force will continue serving as frontliners as the country is continuously battling with the coronavirus pandemic. He stressed that he will not allow lawless elements to take advantage of the situation to commit their nefarious acts.
The PNP Chief is intent on leaving a legacy of “doing things right, with excellence and utmost professionalism.”
Afterwards, when he retires on May 2022, he wants to start a new but simple life in Negros Oriental. He dreams of spending his retirement in a container van turned into a house, and he would sell Pancit Hab-hab, Longganisang Lukban and Seafood Lomi in his food truck parked along the boulevard of Dumaguete City.