Iti gasat uray ilisi-lisi da pay, sumabat sabat latta.
This Ilocono saying, which means “what is meant to be, shall be”, was what Police Gen. Rodolfo Azurin, Jr. held on as President Bongbong Marcos, Jr. appeared to have faced with difficulty in choosing the 28th Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Usually, the first Chief PNP of a new administration is already known before or appointed within the week of the inauguration. But in the case of the President Marcos, it took more than a month before he named his first top cop.
“I am humbled by the expression of trust and confidence of the Commander-In-Chief in my appointment as the highest police official of our land,” said Azurin during his assumption speech on Wednesday, Aug. 3, at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
“All the more my designation as Chief PNP becomes meek and unassuming as it comes within the humble beginning of our beloved President's six-year popular mandate from the Filipino people,” he added.
Azurin was the Regional Director of Ilocos Region and later became the commander of the Area Command-Northern Luzon before his appointment as Chief PNP.
Even before Marcos named the next Chief PNP, there were already rumors within the PNP that he would be appointed, with sources saying that he is close to the Marcos family. But this was put in doubt due to the ling delay in the announcement of the next top cop.
Among the top contenders in the Chief PNP post aside from Azurin were PNP officer-in-charge Police Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao, Jr., PNP Deputy Chief for Administration Police Lt. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia and Police Maj. Gen. Valeriano De Leon.
Azurin was born on April 24, 1967 in Paniqui, Tarlac and was raised in La Trinidad, Benguet
He is a member of the Philippine Military Academy ‘Makatao’ Class of 1989 and is described as a well-rounded police officer, having served the PNP in various capacities, both in police operations and administrative work.
He held star-rank positions in Camp Crame as director of the Directorate for Comptrollership (DC) as well as the Directorate for Information and Communication Technology Management (DICTM).
As a newly-promoted police general, Azurin served director of the Maritime Group and later as
as the regional director of Police Regional Office 1 in Ilocos.
As middle-grade police officer, Azurin served as the provincial director of Benguet Province. He also served as the Chief Task Force Limbas of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) and was also the Deputy Operations Officer of Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF).
As a junior officer, Azurin was assigned to various field units and offices that include the following: 1st Special Action Company in Parang, Maguindanao; 231st Philippine Constabulary (PC) Company in Quezon Province; Police Aviation Security Command — currently the Aviation Security Group (AVSEG); Criminal Investigation Service Command — currently the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG); Office of Internal Security (OIS); Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG); Health Service; Police Community Relations Group — currently the Police Community Affairs and Development Group (PCADG); as well as the Directorate for Personnel and Records Management (DPRM).
“As I officially command of the PNP, I offer my sincerest personal pledge of professional commitment to the Constitution, the chain of command and the Filipino people,” said Azurin in his speech.
And it starts, according to him, through the expansion of the program he started when he was still the Regional Director of Police Regional Office 1—the peace and security framework entitled as MKK=K (Malasakit , Kaayusan , Kapayapaan = Kaunlaran ).
“As I take the helm of the PNP today, I want to employ the same aspiration to the entire organization. The malasakit program aspires to address the external and internal issues of the organization,” he said.
The first challenge he wants to address, according to Azurin, is to nurture harmonious relationship with all sectors in order to convince the people that the PNP is always ready to protect them.
He said the second challenge is to continue the crackdown against erring policemen.
Another challenge, according to Azurin, is to improve the training programs for the PNP in both crime prevention and solving crime.
Among the training programs that he would push, according to Azurin, is on improving the operational and investigation capabilities of every police officers.
He said these training programs are anchored on the four fundamental jobs of every police officer: to prevent crime through operations, preempt crime through intelligence, solve crime through investigation and organization and mobilization of the community through Police Community Relations.
“Your PNP shall enhance the training of its personnel as part of their career advancement, development and competency refresher. This is to ensure quality police assistance,” said Azurin.