Philippine National Police

Key PNP movements: One-day OIC then new chief Marbil

Jairo Bolledo

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Key PNP movements: One-day OIC then new chief Marbil

NEW CHIEF. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Interior chief Benhur Abalos lead the induction of Police General Rommel Marbil as the new PNP chief on April 1, 2024.


Peralta's term as PNP OIC for less than 24 hours is quite unusual since the last two PNP OICs – retired police generals Archie Gamboa and Vicente Danao – served for at least several months

Following Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Benjamin Acorda Jr.’s retirement from police service, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. appointed Police General Rommel Francisco Marbil as the new chief of the 232,000-strong police force.

Marbil’s appointment came as quite a surprise announcement during the change of command and Acorda’s retirement ceremony on Monday, April 1.

Acorda already reached the mandatory retirement age of 56, and was supposed to retire in December 2023, but Marcos extended his term until the end of March this year. Acorda served for almost a year – he was appointed in late April 2023.

Marbil is Marcos’ third PNP chief, after Rodolfo Azurin Jr. and Acorda, and is the 30th national police head since the PNP’s inception in 1991. The 55-year-old police general will retire on February 7, 2025 after he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56. This will be around three months before the midterm senatorial and local elections in May next year.

In his first speech as the new top cop, Marbil listed down things that he said the PNP needs to accomplish to increase its effectiveness:

  • Quality of leadership, knowledge, ability, and professionalism within the ranks
  • Expanding the ability to uphold the law, maintain order, and fight local and transnational crimes in all forms
  • Strive to increase the level of trust of the people

The new PNP chief noted in his speech that the PNP needs personnel and officers with critical thinking and problem-solving skills. He added that under his term, the national police’s infrastructure and membership will be examined to identify ways to improve their effectiveness.

“We need officers who can communicate with the public well, display empathy and conduct themselves at all times responsibly, ethically, and morally. We need officers who recognize that it is simply not enough to act decisively, relentlessly and fast in the war against crimes but that there must also be accountability and transparency on our end and most importantly, we will nurture police officers to whom a human approach to law enforcement is a given,” Marbil added.

Key PNP movements: One-day OIC then new chief Marbil
Surprise! Surprise!

Like his predecessor Acorda, Marbil’s appointment was announced only on the day of the turnover ceremony. But what made Marbil’s designation extremely surprising was that Marcos had appointed an officer-in-charge (OIC) the day before the change of command ceremony.

On Sunday, March 31, Malacañang appointed Police Lieutenant General Emmanuel Peralta as the PNP’s OIC. Marbil’s appointment overwrote Peralta’s appointment, since the latter’s designation was effective “until a replacement is appointed or until otherwise directed by this [Malacañang] office,” and made him an acting PNP chief for less than 24 hours.

There was an expectation that Peralta would serve at least for months, like previous PNP OICs.

His extremely short term was quite unusual since the last two PNP OICs – retired police generals Archie Gamboa and Vicente Danao – served for at least several months. Gamboa was OIC for around three months and then was eventually appointed PNP chief by former president Rodrigo Duterte. He served for almost a year before retiring in September 2020.

Danao, meanwhile, served for over three months. He was designated OIC on May 5, 2022, or a few days before the 2022 elections, and remained in the post until Marcos appointed Azurin as his first PNP chief in August 2022.

“Except probably for making history as the shortest serving OIC of the PNP, there are no implications, good or bad either to PNP or to himself [Peralta],” former senator and PNP chief Panfilo “Ping” Lacson told Rappler.

Lacson, along with former senator and retired military officer Antonio Trillanes IV, reiterated that Peralta’s appointment has no effect on his benefits as a police officer. Lacson said that the pension or retirement benefits of a retired PNP office is based on his/her rank, and not on position. So OIC or not, Peralta will still get the same benefits.

In addition, Peralta will still enjoy the benefits of a four-star general, even though he will retire as a three-star general, because the law provides that police and military officers are entitled to one rank higher upon retirement.

“With that said, OIC PNP PLtGen Peralta will be receiving the same retirement benefits as newly retired PGen Acorda when he retires whether or not he was designated as OIC,” Lacson added.

Who is Marbil

As early as last year, Marbil’s name was already part of the roster of Acorda’s possible successors. In December 2023, a photo that showed Marbil would replace Acorda made the rounds on social media. This prompted the PNP to issue a statement denying it.

Prior to his appointment, Marbil was the head of the PNP’s Directorate for Comptrollership. He also served as the head of the Eastern Visayas regional police and the PNP Highway Patrol Group.

Marbil is Acorda’s classmate – they both belong to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Sambisig Class of 1991. Incidentally, House Speaker Martin Romualdez, the President’s cousin, is an honorary member of the said PMA class.

Marcos seems to be following the pattern of his predecessor in appointing his PNP chiefs. Duterte was known for picking “Davao boys” or police generals who have ties with Davao, and Marcos did the same with his first two appointments. Both Azurin and Acorda have ties with Ilocos, the President’s home turf.

Although Marbil has no known Ilocos ties, he was once police regional director of Eastern Visayas, which is Romualdez’s turf.


As the new PNP chief, Marbil now heads the government unit mandated to enforce laws, and prevent and control crime. The PNP also has the task to observe peace and order in the country, ensure public safety, and to protect the internal security of the Philippines with the help of communities. (READ: What are the mandates of the Philippine National Police under the law?)

Aside from these mandates provided by laws, Marbil now has the task to regain the trust of the people since police continue to be embroiled in various controversies.

“He needs to improve the PNP’s internal mechanisms for accountability, including ensuring that cops implicated in drug war killings are investigated thoroughly and charged if evidence warrants. He needs to dispel the notion that the PNP as an institution does not care about accountability and only wants to protect its members,” Human Rights Watch senior researcher Carlos Conde said.

Among the biggest and most recent police-related controversies was the death of 17-year-old Jerhode Jemboy Baltazar, who was killed by cops in Navotas in August 2023. Although the case reached a decision, the Baltazar family was not entirely happy with the outcome since the cops in the case only received lighter penalties.

Must Read

EXPLAINER: Why did court hand down lighter punishment vs cops in Jemboy killing?

EXPLAINER: Why did court hand down lighter punishment vs cops in Jemboy killing?

The six cops in the case, including two of their supervisors, were ordered dismissed from the police service, but the dismissal has yet to be made final because the dismissal order is still under appeal.

As to the drug war, Marcos said his administration will adopt a “slightly different” approach to it, but drug-related killings continue to persist. According to the tally of the Dahas Project of the University of the Philippines Diliman’s Third World Studies Center, there were at least 593 drug-related killings under the current administration, as of March 26.

Under Duterte’s drug war, around 30,000 people were killed, if vigilante-style killings are included, according to several human rights groups. The drug war killings, including the Davao Death Squad killings when Duterte was still Davao City mayor, are at the center of the probe led by the International Criminal Court.

“He also needs to show that the drug war is indeed different under Marcos and that means adhering to due process,” Conde added.

On top of all these, Marbil also now has the duty to cleanse the ranks of the police, like what his predecessors had done.

The latest attempt to cleanse the PNP was in 2023, when Interior chief Benhur Abalos asked colonels and generals to submit courtesy resignations to rid the ranks of police officers who have alleged drug links. Abalos said in January 2023 that resignations of those with proven links to illegal drug trade will be accepted.

Months later, in July 2023, Marcos announced that he accepted the resignation of three police generals and 15 colonels over their alleged drug links. Amid the resignation controversy, none other than the interior department also revealed that some high-ranking cops allegedly covered up the arrest of a cop during a buy-bust operation in 2022. (READ: Who are the high-ranking police tagged in P6.7-B shabu mess?) –


Sort by
  1. ET

    The new PNP Chief General, Rommel Francisco Marbil, delivered an inspiring speech. But can he pass the Marcos government’s litmus test? (Ref.: Val Villanueva’s “The untouchable Quiboloy.”) Can he arrest Pastor Quiboloy?

  2. ET

    I have to disagree with former PNP Chief Ping Lacson when he said: “Except probably for making history as the shortest serving OIC of the PNP, there are no implications, good or bad either to PNP or to himself [Peralta].” The incident speaks of President Marcos Jr.’s decision-making ability as a leader, which will more likely adversely affect the PNP as an organization. It also makes General Peralta a pitiful victim of such decision-making, and consequently, he must hide his anger and frustration.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Avatar photo


Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering justice, police, and crime.