The Philippine National Police (PNP) in Eastern Visayas will focus on ridding its ranks of scalawags and erring police officers, said new regional police chief Brigadier General Rommel Bernardo Cabagnot.
“I don’t want a kotong (bribe) cop or any involvement in illegal drugs. There will be no mercy for those who will destroy the ranks and the organization. I will hunt you down,” Cabagnot said on Wednesday, August 4.
Cabagnot’s pledge falls in with PNP Chief General Guillermo Eleazar’s internal cleansing program to repaint the agency’s tarnished reputation.
PNP Eastern Visayas spokesperson Ma. Bella Rentuaya told Rappler in a phone interview, however, that they have no scalawags.
“Kami naman dito ay mababait. Different tayo sa ibang regions. Talagang mga matitino naman po tayo dito. Kumbaga, zero tayo sa mga scalawags,” Rentuaya said. (The cops here are kind. We are different from other regions. We are decent here. In other words, we have zero scalawags.)
But Rentuaya also said the office has yet to collect data on the number of scalawags in the region.
“(Regarding) the conduct of random drug testing (on) police officers, (there had been relatively no) police officers in Region 8 who tested positive from drugs,” she said.
The last positive test on a cop from the region, she added, was on July 17, 2019.
Eleazar approved the recommendation of the PNP Senior Officers’ Placement and Promotion Board designating Cabagnot as the region’s new top cop.
Cabagnot succeeded Brigadier General Ronaldo de Jesus, who retired after 34 years in service at the age of 56.
Before assuming the post, Cabagnot headed the regional staff of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO). He is set to retire from service on February 18, 2022.
“With him at the helm, PRO 8 is up to something great. And so I urge the precious gems of this police force to continue to rally behind him and provide all the necessary support (in ensuring) the peace and progress of the Eastern Visayas region,” de Jesus said.
He also asked the region’s 10,000 police personnel to step up efforts to combat criminality, illegal drugs, insurgency and terrorism, and the pandemic.
“I will also personally assess the operational readiness of our men on the ground, Cabagnot said. “Do your mandate with utmost dedication.”
Cabagnot, an alumnus of the PNP Academy Class of 1991, is not new to the region. He served as Samar’s police provincial director from 2015 to 2016.
“I am happy to be back in service to the people of Eastern Visayas. The demand (for) service has become more intense but I can assure you that I will be there,” he said. – Rappler.com