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PNP reshuffle not connected to review on senior officers’ resignations — Azurin

The recent revamp of officials in different positions in the Philippine National Police (PNP) has nothing to do with the ongoing review on the courtesy resignations of senior officers, its chief Police General Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said Friday.

Azurin told reporters that the new designations of officials are just a regular reshuffle in the PNP.

“Unang-una, ito pong movement na ito ay isang regular na revamp ng ating PNP because we wanted to further improve yung ating police presence sa National Capital Region, at the same, time at least  mabigyan natin ng ibang posisyon yung ating officers,” he said in ambush interview.

(First, this movement is just a regular revamp because we wanted to further improve the police presence in the NCR, at the same time, at least give different positions to officers.)

“Ibig sabihin, ongoing pa rin ang ating pag-assess at pag-evaluate sa kanilang courtesy resignation but it does not mean na hindi tayo puwedeng magkaroon revamp ng officials ng PNP,” he added.

(It means the assessment and evaluation on the courtesy resignations are still ongoing, but it does not mean that we cannot have a revamp of officials in the PNP.)

Asked if the newly designated officials have been already cleared by the five-man advisory group from any links with illegal drug trade, Azurin said Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos earlier pointed out that the review will not affect their positions.

On January 4, Abalos appealed to senior PNP officials to submit their courtesy resignations as part of the government's efforts to rid the police force of officers involved in the illegal drug trade.

Abalos said this was “the only way to make a fresh start” in the PNP, as he expressed concern over the involvement of some ranking police officers in the illegal drug trade.

A five-man advisory group, including Azurin, will review the resignations.

Azurin on Friday presided over the command turnover ceremony for the new NCR Police Office chief Police Major General Edgar Allan Okubo, who replaced Police Major General Jonnel Estomo.

Estomo is now designated as the deputy chief for operations of the PNP.

Meanwhile, Police Brigadier General Westrimundo Domantay Obinque has assumed his post as the new chief of the Police Regional Office 5.

Police Brigadier General Jose S Hidalgo Jr. now heads Police Regional Office 3.

Also, Police Brigadier General Rudolph Botengan Dimas is designated as the new acting director of the Special Action Force. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News