Service sans the uniform: Former military, policemen seek gov't posts in 2019
MANILA, Philippines – When police and military officers hang their uniforms for the last time, it does not always mean they will retire from public service.
Former cops and soldiers, both retired and resigned, are running in the 2019 elections, trying their luck at public service in the civilian bureaucracy after years of working through the ranks. It's a leap from one battlefield to another.
They're hoping to follow the march started by other servicemen-turned-politicians like senators Panfilo Lacson and Gregorio Honasan and congressmen Romeo Acop and Gary Alejano.
For many of them, it's not a difficult transition. After all, their years of uniformed service have trained them to brush shoulders with the country's most seasoned politicians. Many former uniformed men, in fact, already hold key posts in the Duterte administration.
Rappler lists these former uniformed servicemen who are now gunning for a civilian post in the 2019 elections.
Ronald dela Rosa
Ronald dela Rosa is perhaps the most popular candidate who used to be in the uniformed services.
This does not come as a surprise to many, since he was the face of President Rodrigo Duterte's landmark campaign against illegal drugs for a year and 9 months. The campaign led to massive hauls of illegal drugs, but it also resulted in the deaths of thousands.
During his stint as head of the Philippine National Police, he jousted with critics in many fronts for the President, all the while building the reputation of a down-to-earth, and often goofy, police chief.
After he hung up his blue uniform for the last time, he became the top guard of the New Bilibid Prison. He resigned months after in preparation for the 2019 polls.
Senatorial candidate Dela Rosa enjoys the endorsement of the President, the ruling political party PDP-Laban, and Hugpong ng Pagbabago, the regional party of presidential daughter Sara Duterte Carpio.
He has said in multiple interviews that he would push for the death penalty in the upper chamber, and has committed to backing the very "drug war" he once led.
Dela Rosa belongs to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) class of 1986, the current ruling class of the PNP.
Gary Alejano has made a name for himself as one of the most critical lawmakers in the Duterte administration.
In the 17th Congress, Alejano was part of the House independent minority bloc. He filed the first impeachment complaint against Duterte.
Prior to becoming a voice of dissent in the House of Representatives, former Navy-man Alejano was known as one of the standout members of the Magdalo Group, which staged the mutinies in Oakwood in 2003, and in Manila Peninsula in 2007.
He now lends his defiant voice as one of the senatorial bets of the opposition slate Otso Diretso, with the promise of rallying for better security policies for the Philippines.
So far, Alejano has been an adamant critic of Duterte's diplomatic strategy to strengthen ties with China, which risks sidelining the Philippines' historic victory over China in the West Philippine Sea dispute.
Alejano belongs to the PMA Marilag class of 1995. He is a classmate of longtime comrade Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who has foregone running again in the 2019 polls.
Retired police two-star general Benjamin Magalong is seeking the mayoralty of Baguio City.
He frequented headlines and television screens, as he led the investigation into the botched Oplan Exodus in Mamasapano, Maguindanao that left 44 members of the elite police Special Action Force dead.
It was this probe that pinned down former president Benigno Aquino III as among those liable for the deaths of the young troopers.
As he was digging into the case, he held the high-profile position of director of the police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), and later, the office which supervises it, the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management.
He retired as a 3-star general and PNP's top 3 official. Magalong belongs to batch 1982 of the PMA.
Controversial former police superintendent Cezar Mancao is aiming for a seat in the House of Representatives as the nominee of Kilusang May Pag-Asa party list.
He gained notoriety after being accused of being behind the killing of public relations veteran Salvador "Bubby" Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito in 2000.
Back then, he was part of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force under the Estrada administration.
He was back in the spotlight in 2009 when he tagged then-president Joseph Estrada and PNP chief-turned-senator Panfilo Lacson as being behind the Dacer-Corbito case. He took back his accusation against the two in 2015, saying that he had no personal knowledge of their alleged involvement.
In 2013, he escaped detention from the National Bureau of Investigation, complaining that his case moved too slowly compared to his colleagues' cases. After 4 years as a fugitive, he surrendered to the PNP.
He is a mistah (classmate) of former top cop Dela Rosa and other top police and military officials.
Retired chief superintendent Fidel Posadas is running for mayor of Urbiztondo, Pangasinan.
Prior to bowing out of the police service, he headed the provincial police offices of Cavite and Quezon.
He also worked as an officer of the CIDG's Ilocos and Cagayan Valley regional offices.
Posadas is also a member of the board of trustees of the Public Safety Savings and Loan Association Inc, which lends to cops, jail guards, and firefighters.
Posadas belongs to PNP Academy batch 1983.
Running for San Rafael, Bulacan, mayor, Francisco Villaroman is a former one-star general of the PNP, graduating from the police service in 2011 as the police commander of the Cagayan Valley Region.
Following his retirement from the PNP, he served as the head of the Davao City Public Safety and Security Command Center in August 2013 under the supervision of then-mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Villaroman dropped his Davao City post in June 2016 to focus on their family-owned security agency, also based in Davao City. In January 2017, Duterte appointed him board director of the Clark Development Corporation.
Villaroman's running mate is also a former cop, former superintendent Ramir Viola.
He belongs to PMA Matapat class of 1979.
Leborio Jangao Jr
Banking on his brethren from the Universal Guardians Brotherhood, former military man and policeman Leborio Jangao Jr is hoping to clinch a Senate seat in the 2019 elections.
The organization, which welcomed him complete with uniforms and tarpaulins, traces its roots back to 1976, when then-sergeant Jangao first established the so-called "Diablo Squad" with a dozen other soldiers from a detachment at Parang, Maguindanao.
Today, Leborio's organization claims to have Senator Honasan as a member, and retired police chief Avelino Razon and military general-turned-Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Danilo Lim as its advisers.
Leborio retired as a police superintendent after the Philippine Constabulary transitioned into the PNP.
He claims to be running under the ruling party PDP-Laban but has not been included in the party's official slate. – Rappler.com