Picking the next PNP chief

I was writing this article when news came out on my Google feed that President Rodrigo R. Duterte was coming home earlier than scheduled due to “unbearable pain” that apparently was caused by his motorcycle accident last week.

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Tuesday posted a picture of the President with his head resting on a cane that he had been using while attending the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito in Japan. He is scheduled to see his doctor upon arrival in Manila.

I am praying this pain is not due to a life-threatening injury as a result of the accident.

An important decision also needs to be made by the President upon his arrival. With the resignation of erstwhile PNP chief General Oscar Albayalde, the Philippine National Police needs to regain traction and restore the morale of its policemen and -women in the entire archipelago. The charges that Albayalde had covered up for the ninja cops and even put them in key positions when he became PNP chief seriously damaged the PNP’s image as an institution. Respect for the badge and uniform was undermined.

With this in mind, President Duterte needs to choose carefully from among the nominees submitted by DILG Secretary Eduardo Ano. Three of the front-runners are PNP OIC Lieutenant General Archie Francisco Gamboa, deputy director for operations, P/Lieutenant General Camilo Cascolan and directorate staff chief P/Major General Guillermp Eleazar.

As an Ilonggo, and a Filipino, I am pushing for General Cascolan.

I have known Punky since he was a P/Chief Inspector more than 20 years ago. He has an unblemished track record. His performance has consistently been excellent. He is also actively campaigning for better benefits for retired Philippine Constabulary and PNP personnel. His heart is close to the men in the field. Respect for Punky is high.

The last aspect is critical at this point in the history of the PNP.

What the PNP needs is a leader with unquestioned integrity, an individual who has earned the trust and confidence of every man and woman in the organization. Cascolan is the man of the hour. His proven integrity will quickly repair the tarnished image of the organization. There isn’t a shadow of involvement in wrongdoing in his entire career as a police officer.

If the President doesn’t feel he wants Cascolan to be the PNP chief, then I believe the incumbent Officer-in-Charge, Lieut. Gen. Gamboa is equally capable and competent.

I watched his press conference a few days ago when he announced the dismissal of three policemen involved in the Nov. 29, 2013 fake drug buy-bust over another serious offense, I saw that he is cool and composed under fire. He is a good communicator, which is also a key skill that the next PNP chief needs to get it out of the rut.

As to P/Major Gen. Eleazar, I must confess that I don’t trust the guy. Besides, he was kicked upstairs by Albayalde just before his downfall in an apparent move to place him in contention for the position he was set to vacate.

Right now, anybody with a stain from Albayalde’s hand shouldn’t be given a key position. With the little I know about Eleazar, I could sense that he is clone of Albayalde. Even their moves, especially their penchant for bringing the media to document their surprise inspections, come from the same template. He isn’t an officer I would want to see as chief of the PNP.

Unclear

There has been a great deal of discussion about the legal ramifications of the directive issued by President Rodrigo Duterte for nearly 2,000 convicts released under the controversial Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law during the last several years.

President Duterte wants a review of the circumstances under which these convicts obtained their freedom in the wake of allegations that corruption was what drove prison officials to issue release orders en masse.

The convicts who have since been given back their liberty were ordered to “surrender” not later than today, September 19, 2019.

Quite a number of convicts have already reported to the nearest police stations in compliance with the directive. Nobody wants to mess around with the President’s order.

But there is a question on the status of convicts who were paroled, which is an entirely different process than getting freed under the GCTA.

In Iloilo, there’s a 79-year old man who was freed from prison two years ago after being paroled. Is he still required to be brought back to a penal colony in Mindoro while officials check his papers?

The PNP is not sure. It’s not their call to make a determination on that, the new Iloilo provincial director, Col. Roland Vilela, said. The PNP wants to be on the safe side and just remit the convicts to the BuCor facility in Mindoro.

Perhaps the Department of Justice should take cognizance of such cases and issue the corresponding clarification. It would be unfair for these individuals who have faithfully served out their minimum sentences to be sent back to jail again.

Bakit hawak pa ni Del Rosario ang diplomatic passport?

Teka, teka.

Matagal nang hindi Foreign Affairs Secretary itong si Alberto del Rosario, di ba?

Bakit hawak-hawak niya pa ang kanyang diplomatic passport? Sa pagka-alam ko, entitled siya sa diplomatic passport habang nasa serbisyo siya bilang DFA secretary. Dapat yan sinasa-uli sa gobyerno pagkatapos ng kanyang panunungkulan bilang DFA secretary. Kung baga sa driver’s license, expired na yan.

At wala namang kaugnayan sa gobyerno ang kanyang pagpunta sa Hongkong. Hindi lamang mga diplomats ang binibigyan ng diplomatic passports. Pati na rin ang mga matataas na opisyal ng national government. Ito po ay privilege upang hindi sila kailangan dumaan pa sa mahahabang pila sa immigration pagdating sa isang bansa.

Sobrang abuso na talaga itong mga dilawan.

Del Rosario

Dapat alam na ni Del Rosario kung ano ang aabutin sa HK

Malaking hasol ang nangyari kay dating DFA Secretary Alberto del Rosario doon sa Hongkong airport pagkatapos hindi ito pinayagan na makapasok sa bansa at pinabalik sa Pilipinas. Itinigil ng mga immigration officials ng Hongkong ang pagpasok ni del Rosario at pinasa-ilalim sa mahabang proceso na na-uwi lang sa pagtanggi ng entry. Walang dahilan na ibinigay ang HK authorities kung bakit pinabalik si Del Rosario.Del Rosario

Pero alam ng lahat na si Del Rosario, kasama si dating Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, ang naghain ng reklamo laban kay Chinese President Xi Jingping sa International Criminal Court. At alam naman natin na iba ang batas at kultura sa China. Nangyari na noong buwan ng Mayo na hindi rin pinapasok sa bansa si Carpio-Morales.

So dapat pinasok na yun sa kaisipan niya na ganoon rin ang mangyayari sa kanya pag-sinubukan niyang pumasok sa Hongkong, na sakop na territoryo ng China.

Ito kasi ang problema sa mga dilawan. Akala nila magagawa nila ang kung ano man ang gusto nila pero ayaw rin nilang tanggapin ang negative reaction laban sa kanila.

Mga terminal na mas malinis, may libreng internet pa

Hindi na maiinip at mahihirapan ang mga pasahero sa bus, jeepney at barko sa buong Pilipinas. Noong Miyerkoles, pinalabas na ng Malacanang ang kakapirma lang ni Pangulong Duterte na batas na nag-uutos sa mga operator ng transportation terminals na ipasiguro ang malinis na mga facilities, lalo na ang CR at dapat may libreng Wifi pa sa mga naghihintay ng kanilang biyahe.

Ibabawal na ang paniningil ng “donation” sa gumagamit ng mga CR at kailangan malinis ang lugar upang mas comfortable ang mga pasahero habang naghihintay ng pag-alis ng mga bus, jeepney o barko.

Isa itong malaking hakbang ng Duterte administration tungo sa upgrading ng mga public infrastructure at mabigyan ang mga mamamayan ng magandang facilities na dati-rati ay pinapabayaan lang ng pamahalan nasyonal. Talagang ibang-iba na ngayon ang gobyerno.

bus terminal

Maritime accident sa Recto Bank

Hindi muna ako nagbigay ng aking opinyon tungkol sa nangyari na banggaan ng Filipino at Chinese fishing boats doon sa Recto Bank na ginagawang isyu ng mga dilawan laban kay Pangulong Duterte. Hinintay ko muna luminaw kung ano talaga ang nangyari at hindi ako sumakay sa bandwagon ng media.

o, eto na ngayon, inamin ng kapitan ng Filipino fishing boat na hindi niya nakita kung sino ang bumangga sa bangka niya. Ibig sabihin, wala nga siyang basehan na bentangan ang mga Intsik na sila ang bumangga sa bangka ng mga Pinoy.fishermen in distress

Dapat natin tandaan na napakaraming maritime accidents na nangyari sa ating kadagataan. Ilang beses na nangyari ang aksidente ng malalaking barko sa dagat kahit na completo ito sa mga radar at iba pang gamit upang malaman kung may panganib na parating. Kahit na napakalawak ng dagat, may banggaan pa rin kahit sa araw.

Tama po ang naging pahayag ni Pangulong Duterte na isa itong maliit na “maritime accident” na hindi kailangan palakihin na maaring makasira sa relasyon sa gitna ng Pilipinas at China. We have to be cautious when it comes to our international relations. Hindi basta-basta’t sumigaw tayo na handa tayo pumunta sa giyera na hindi pa natin alam ang kabuohang katotohanan.

Simple arrogance

I came across an ANC interview with outgoing Senator Antonio Trillanes a week ago. He was asked about the possibility that the tables might be turned on him with the plan of Senator-elect Bong Go to summon him and grill him on issues on the alleged destabilization plot against the Duterte administration.

PHILIPPINES-POLITICS-CRIME-RIGHTS-TRILLANES

This photo taken on September 13, 2017 shows Philippine Senator Antonio gesturing during an interview at his office in the Senate building in Manila. After launching his political career from a jail cell, Philippine Senator Antonio Trillanes believes it could end in a grave thanks to a relentless campaign against his “hitman” president. / AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELIS (Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Trillanes sounded more muffled than his usual self. The bluster that he tried to project was somehow hollow. As in the confidence that he always projected had diminished. But one thing was clear to me: Trillanes is still an arrogant person. The bad news is that when he is summoned to appear before the Senate, he would find himself in the same position as the late DENR Secretary Angelo Reyes, vulnerable to humiliation before the public eye.

Trillanes is without honor anyway, and no amount of public shaming for his evil deeds can ever lead him to do what Secretary Reyes did: commit seppuku.