New PNP chief asks corrupt cops to leave
MANILA, Philippines - Philippine National Police (PNP) Deputy Director General Alan Purisima became the new PNP chief Tuesday, December 18, in a turnover ceremony where he called upon policemen involved in corruption to leave the service.
Replacing outgoing PNP head Nicanor Bartolome, Purisima confronted the issue of the illegal numbers game jueteng head on, following recent reports about the PNP's involvement in the activity.
"Sa mga sangkot sa katiwalian, umalis na kayo ngayon pa lang (Those involved in corruption, get out now)," Purisima said in his first speech as PNP chief.
"We will identify and remove officials and members of the organization who have taken advantage of their positions," he added in Filipino.
On Friday, December 14, the PNP found itself in the center of another jueteng controversy after Pangasinan Mayor Rodrigo Orduna revealed that PNP officers protected jueteng in the province.
The accusation led Interior Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas to order an immediate reshuffling of policemen in Pangasinan.
Focus of leadership
In addition to rooting out corruption in the PNP, Purisima said he will ensure that every policeman understands and performs the job assigned to them -- a practice known as "no multitasking" policy.
"If you’re assigned as an investigator, you should focus on the case assigned to you. Lots of cases are not moving because policemen are being assigned other jobs," Purisima said.
"One of the first things is to identify the job or role of each policeman. This is important so that each member will know the tasks he has to accomplish to reach the mission. Confusion in the performance of duty will be avoided. Abandoning a job after being assigned another job will be avoided," he added.
Like his predecessor, Purisima also promised to implement reforms, train policemen to develop their competence, discipline and professionalism, as well as continue the programs started by Bartolome -- particularly the Patrol Plan 2013.
"I will be strict when it comes to implementation and I will expect nothing but the best results. As I demand commitment and excellence from you, I shall equally focus on providing you the appropriate support that you need on your operations. We will also provide continuous training and refresher programs to enhance your skills and abilities," Purisima said.
President Benigno Aquino III has known Purisima since 1987. Purisima once served as aide of the late President Corazon Aquino, his mother. As a member of the Presidential Security Group then, Purisima was assigned specifically to guard the young Aquino who would later become president too.
Aquino, who was present at the ceremony, lauded the legacy of Bartolome, and welcomed Purisima into the service.
He expressed confidence in Purisima's ability to reform the service and ensure a peaceful election come 2013.
"Our aim is for the police to serve as a pillar of honor and integrity, and that you may maintain peace and order, especially in the upcoming elections. This will be the first challenge to your leadership. The people are hoping that you will be able to uphold order from the campaign season until the end of the elections," he said in Filipino.
A few months ago, Aquino asked Bartolome to retire earlier than his March 2013 scheduled retirement, to give Purisima the needed time to adjust and prepare for the May 2013 elections.
The PNP is an election partner of the Commission on Elections.
In stepping down, Bartolome said he supported Purisima and challenged him to ensure a peaceful election campaign.
He also admitted that he felt he did not have enough time to complete all his goals.
"Though 15 months may not have been enough to achieve all that I have set out to do, I now stand before you, fulfilled and happy in the thought that I have done my best, but with a heart made heavy with the fact that I could have done more," he said.
Bartolome enumerated his achievements as PNP chief, including increased benefits and welfare programs for the policemen, governance awards received by the PNP, more efficient management of procurements and proper competency training.
Barring any hitches, Purisima, who will head the police force until 2015, will be one of the longest serving chiefs of the PNP. Purisima is a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1981. He also served as the director of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO). - Rappler.com