Magalong, Dela Rosa, and the PNP’s ‘hardheaded’ officials
Magalong, Dela Rosa, and the PNP’s ‘hardheaded’ officials

LeAnne Jazul

PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa bids goodbye to his 'big brother' in the Command Group

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa may be the police force’s big boss but when push comes to shove, it always helps to have a “big brother” to help him navigate through the trials and tribulations of the job.

It was the apparent role Benjamin Magalong took on since joining the PNP’s Command Group upon Dela Rosa’s assumption.

Magalong retired on Wednesday, December 14, after nearly 4 decades of service. Upon retirement, he was the Deputy Director for Operations or the PNP’s 3rd-in-command.

In a video message to Magalong, Dela Rosa said: “Sa pag-retire mo, para akong nawalan ng right wing… Wala na ako big brother na aalalay sa akin kapag ako’y kinokontra ng matitigas na ulo na upper class.”

(With your retirement, it’s as if I’ve lost my right wing. I no longer have a big brother to help me handle hardheaded upperclassmen who go against my decisions.)

Dela Rosa was quick to add that he would find a way to handle it. The 4-star police general was in Cambodia as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s official delegation.

Magalong, who belongs to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1982, was Dela Rosa’s subordinate for over 6 months. Dela Rosa belongs to the PMA Class of 1986.

Despite his seniority – at least in terms of rank – Dela Rosa always made it a point to call Magalong (and other senior officers belonging to older PMA classes) “sir.”

It can be an awkward situation in a police force with a strong military tradition.

Dela Rosa currently outranks several senior police officials in the PNP. His appointment meant 3 PMA classes – 1983, 1984, and 1985 – were “bypassed.”

Speaking off-the-cuff in the video message, Dela Rosa quipped that if he had his way, he’d keep Magalong in the service even if he was older than the mandatory age of retirement.

It’s going to be a tough 2017 ahead for Dela Rosa without his “big brother” in the person of Magalong. The PNP is halfway through a highly controversial war on drugs. (READ: Dela Rosa says narco cops planning to oust him)

Although the deadline for the war had been set at 6 months, Duterte earlier asked for an “extension” owing to the supposed severity of the country’s drug problem.

But Dela Rosa has at least two more more upperclassmen in his Command Group.

Deputy Director General Franciso Uyami, the current deputy director for administration – retires in March 2017 yet. Uyami – whom Dela Rosa refers to as his “left wing” – is a member of the PMA Class of 1982, just like Magalong.

The PNP’s chief of directorial staff, Deputy Director General Ramon Apolinario, is a member of the PMA Class of 1985. With Magalong’s retirement, Apolinario is expected to assume his post.

Dela Rosa’s PMA mistah (classmate), current Director for Personnel and Records Management chief Director Fernando Mendez, is reportedly set to take over as the next chief of directorial staff. – Bea Cupin/

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