2023 April 24
CHANGE OF COMMAND. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (center) leads the change of command ceremony and retirement honors for Philippine National Police chief Gen. Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr. (left) and incoming chief Police Maj. Gen. Benjamin C. Acorda Jr. (right) at the PNP Headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City on Monday (April 24, 2023).
MANILA – Newly installed Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. on Monday committed that the PNP will be vanguards of peace to ensure a safe and economically stable community and to be steadfast in providing police service under his leadership,
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has appointed Acorda as the 29th country’s top cop during the change of command ceremony in Camp Crame in Quezon City.
He succeeded PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. who is celebrating his 56th birthday, the mandatory retirement age for police officers.
As he took command of the 228,000-strong, Acorda said he would put a premium on moral ascendancy in the promotion and placement of officers in key positions and also vowed that he would lead by example in order for all members of the PNP to always do what is right.
“As we give a premium to the morale and welfare of our men and women in the organization, assignment and positioning will be based on merit, ability and moral ascendancy. Under my leadership, we will be your partner in ensuring a secure, peaceful and crime-free community,” Acorda said in his speech as he expressed gratitude to the President for his trust and confidence in him.
Acorda also expressed his gratitude to Azurin for his aggressive campaign on internal cleansing.
“I will continue what you started in cleansing the PNP,” he said.
The PNP is currently facing a controversy regarding the alleged involvement of policemen in illegal drug activities.
Earlier, at least 42 members of the PNP Drug Enforcement Agency were disarmed and ordered to be restricted to quarters over the alleged lapses in the operation that led to the confiscation of 990 kilos of shabu in Manila last year.
Acorda also vowed relentless campaign against criminality and illegal drugs.
He warned erring members of the PNP involved in illegal activities.
“My stand on anti-illegal drugs is clear, no police should be involved in pushing, using or whatever means of illegal drug trade. You will be charged and removed from the service,” Acorda said.
“This is my warning to each and every one of you, our fight will be holistic in prevention and aggressive in operations. Under my leadership, rewards and punishment will be quick and decisive, it shall be fair and impartial and due process shall be observed. We will establish unity, promote patriotism, uplift morale, strengthen cooperation and instill discipline in our organization,” he added.
Acorda, who is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Sambisig Class of 1991 and hails from the province of Ilocos Norte, said he will continuously strive to make PNP worthy of the trust and confidence of the public.
Before his appointment as the new country’s top cop, Acorda was the director of the PNP Directorate for Intelligence.
Meanwhile, Azurin said he remained true to his promise to ensure peace and order and stability while President Marcos marks his first year in office.
“These promises I think I fulfilled in the past 8 months of my stint with help from my counterparts in the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and the uniformed services and all the good senators and congressmen and women. I am fortunate to have worked with past PNP chiefs because of the values I learned from them on leadership and character,” Azurin said in his retirement speech.
“Today as I retire and stand before you Mr. President, I can honestly say that I have achieved the goals I set for you and the Filipino people. As of today, your administration is stable under my leadership since I assumed as Chief PNP, the total crime volume decreased by 9,038 and I believe that this decline directly or indirectly contributed to the economic growth of the country,” he added.
Christopher Lloyd Caliwan