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MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday, April 24, named Major General Benjamin Acorda Jr. as the next chief of the 227,000-strong Philippine National Police (PNP).
Acorda will replace PNP chief General Rodolfo Azurin Jr. during the change of command ceremony on Monday, Azurin’s 56th birthday. The PNP’s mandatory retirement age is 56.
The 55-year-old Acorda will be Marcos’ second PNP chief and the 29th head of the national police since 1991.
The new PNP chief will serve until his retirement on December 3, or for less than eight months.
Prior to his appointment, Acorda headed the PNP’s Directorate for Intelligence. In 2022, he headed the Northern Mindanao regional police.
Just like his predecessor, Acorda has Ilocos Region ties – his family comes from La Union. His father, lawyer Benjamin Acorda Sr., was a counsel for the then-Citizens Legal Assistance Office – now Public Attorney’s Office – in La Union. His mother, Purificacion Acorda, worked as a government nurse in the province.
The new PNP chief finished his primary education at Gabaldon Elementary School’s Special Education Center in Laoag City, and then high school at Bacarra National Comprehensive High School in Ilocos Norte, Marcos’ home province. Acorda later graduated from the Philippine Military Academy as part of the Sambisig Class of 1991.
Before achieving high posts in the national police, Acorda held various positions in Ilocos Norte. He once served as chief of the intelligence branch and assistant provincial director for operations of the Ilocos Norte provincial police.
In a statement, Interior chief Benhur Abalos congratulated Acorda for his appointment and said he believes the new PNP chief is the most deserving to lead the national police because of Acorda’s experience and integrity.
“Sa bagong yugtong ito ng PNP sa ilalim ng pamumuno ni Acorda, patuloy ang suportang ibibigay ng DILG sa pagpapatupad ng napapanahong pagbabago sa kapulisan habang masigasig nitong tinutupad ang mandato nito na pangalagaan at proteksyunan ang ating mga kababayan,” Abalos said.
(In this new chapter of PNP under Acorda’s leadership, the DILG will continue giving support to implement the timely reformation in the police, while it eagerly fulfills its mandate to protect the people.)
Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said he has immense trust in Acorda because of the latter’s performance as director of the PNP Northern Mindanao regional police.
“We have seen firsthand how his leadership has led to a sharper, more active police force, and I have no doubt that what he has done for Region 10, he will be able to do for the whole country as well,” Zubiri said.
Senator Ronald dela Rosa, also a former PNP chief, said Marcos has “made the right and best choice” in appointing Acorda. Dela Rosa added the president did extensive research before appointing Acorda.
“Gen. Acorda’s exposure is in the field of intelligence, particularly counter-intelligence which is badly needed in the internal cleansing program of the PNP. He is a silent operator and a very professional officer who doesn’t give in to pressures from selfish politicians,” Dela Rosa added. – With reports from Bea Cupin and Bonz Magsambol/ Rappler.com