Former drug enforcement chief Albert Ferro is new Central Visayas top cop

A veteran intelligence officer who served in Davao for years is the new police regional director of Central Visayas. 

Brigadier General Albert Ferro will be replacing Brigadier General Valeriano T. De Leon as the director of Police Regional Police Office-7, the Philippine National Police (PNP) announced on Thursday, February 6.

De Leon served in the post for only 4 months. Most Central Visayas regional directors serve for at least one year. The PNP said 
De Leon will be moved to the Office of the PNP chief at Camp Crame, essentially a demotion.

According to a statement from the Philippine National Police, PNP Chief Lieutenant General Archie Gamboa, De Leon – along with 2 other police officials –was relieved due to performance issues. 

The police statement said the relief was due to their "failure to adhere to command policies" in the performance in the campaign against illegal drugs, campaign against illegal gambling, and campaign against rogue cops."

Also relieved and moved to Crame were Police Colonel Emma Libunao, Bulacan PNP Provincial Director; and Police Colonel Gil Francis Tria, Deputy Director for Operations of Highway Patrol Group.

De Leon was first publicly reprimanded on January 23 by Gamboa after 3 senior Central Visayas cops were sacked for playing golf on weekdays.

“Strike 1 na si (for) Regional Director PRO-7,” Gamboa said then. (READ: PNP sacks senior Central Visayas cops for playing golf on weekdays)

Gamboa signed an order banning cops from playing golf on weekdays last October, a day after ex-PNP chief General Oscar Albayalde resigned.

"Gamboa reminds all Regional Directors of the PNP’s hard line stance against all forms of illegal gambling activities and other crimes against public morals in their areas of jurisdiction," the statement said.

Ferro was plucked from a staff position as Deputy Regional Director for Operations of the National Capital Region Police Office.

The PRO-7 is responsible for securing over 7 million people across the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor. 


Ferro used to command the PNP's Police’s Drug Enforcement Group (DEG). Prior to this, he headed the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office as well as the Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIG), which was disbanded in 2017 in the aftermath of the murder of a Korean businessman inside Camp Crame.

Ferro was among the police officers who arrested suspected drug lord from Leyte Kerwin espinosa in Abu Dhabi in 2016, when he was head of the anti-illegal drugs group. (READ: Kerwin Espinosa nabbed in Abu Dhabi)

During his stint at DEG, Ferro focused on strengthening community relations and developing a network of civilian informants to combat illegal drugs.

Ferro had served in Davao as commander and head of investigation. –

Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers Cebu and the Visayas for Rappler. He covers all news in the region, but is particularly interested in people stories, development issues and local policy making.