By Mortz C. Ortigoza
In the last Monday’s press conference laced with humors and innuendos, presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte bared the probable heads of cabinets and the chief of the Philippine National Police.
Although the top honcho of the PNP is equivalent to a bureau chief, the police organization is a powerful agency that would play a vital role in Duterte’s knuckle duster fight against notorious criminals.
He cited Chief Superintendents Ramon Apolinario and Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and Senior Supt. Rene Aspira as probable chief of the PNP.
Chief Superintendent and Senior Superintendent, to the uninitiated on the rankings of the former Philippine Constabulary after it “broke-away” from the Armed Forces of the Philippines in January 29, 1991 through Republic Act 6975, are the equivalent of military ranks of Brigadier General and Colonel.
“I asked them to talk among themselves since they were my chiefs of police and they have sterling records during their stints in Davao City,” the president-elect said to that effect.
When I asked my sources from the police, who are alumni of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), if the trio are “mistah” or classmates at the PMA as mentioned by Duterte and who would be the next chief of the PNP among them after Director General Ricardo Marquez submitted his courtesy resignation, I was told that Apolinario is a member of PMA Class 1985 while dela Rosa and Aspira are part of PMA Classes 1986 and 1987, respectively.
“Who do you think would be the shoo-in?” I posed to one of my sources.
Before he gave me a direct answer, he told me that General Apolinario even if he is a member of Class 1985 will retire on 2019 while dela Rosa will retire on 2018.
“Bato joined the PMA older than his classmates thus he will retire upon reaching the compulsory retirement age of 56 two years from now”.
He said that if the president asked them to talk, the logical thing there is for Bato (“stone” because of his muscular body) to assume the top plum before he bows in 2018,thereafter Apolinario succeeds him.
My source did not tell me when Aspira will retire.
My source told me that the promotion for the four stars' Director General of the police is not a problem because Duterte can promote dela Rosa to another three stars immediately.
Bato can be promoted to multiple stars' rank
A member of PMA 1986 told me in the past (click here):“The president can promote a colonel to one star general, then after a week he can be a two-star general, then a week later a three- star police general that could even bypassed those senior officers”.
“What will happen to PMA Classes 1983, 1984, and 1985 that are still with the PNP?” I asked.
He told me some of the members of Class of 1984 particularly would become Bato’s deputies.
“Would it not be awkward he would be “barking” orders to the “Cows” (third year) when they were still plebe (first year) at the PMA?” I asked.
He cited to me the case of former PNP Chief Recaredo A. Sarmiento II, a member of PMA Class 1966, whose deputies were Class of 1964.
“There was no problem about seniority there, PMA Class 1964 were professional. They were soldiers who soldiered on”.
PMYer hits Class 1984
He cited however the problem with PMA Class 1984, the adopting class of presidential and administration candidate Mar Roxas:
Many of them unabashedly campaign for Roxas. Many of them however left Roxas when they knew he has no Chinaman’s chance to win the presidency.
In my earlier interview with vice presidential bet Senator Chiz Escudero, during the time he and presidential aspirant and Senator Grace Poe lorded the polls, Chiz told me the following when I asked him if my source was correct that Poe would get the police honcho from PMA Class 1987, Escudero’s adopting PMA Class:
“He is too young”.
“We have to follow the rule, PMA 1984 is the ruling class followed by PMA classes of 1985, 1986,” he added.
It can be recalled that Escudero angrily asked later Director General Ricardo Marquez for the relief of Chief Superintendents Renier Idio, Bernardo Diaz and Ronald Santos – all members of PMA Class 1984 after reporters saw them last April 2, a campaign period, with Roxas protégée Director Generoso Cerbo, Jr. (PMA ’84), his fair haired boy for the PNP post, in Novotel hotel at the Araneta Center in Cubao, which is owned by the family of Roxas.
With Class 1984 being demonized, does that mean General dela Rosa get from the “less tainted and less partisan” Class of 1985 for them to be plucked in at some powerful posts at Camp Crame?
He did not answer.
PMA Class 1986 benefits on Bato’s promotion
“How about those PMA Class of 1986 of dela Rosa who supported other presidential candidates other than Duterte, would they be “condemned” to perpetuity being colonels and not promoted to become a one star general so they can be regional director, a lucrative post especially in Luzon?”
My source told me that they would have no problem with that. It is a PMYer's custom that classmates help fellow classmates.
By the way, another member of Class 1986, whom I bumped into in a mall, told me that eight of their batch is already one star ranked.
Presently, Apolinario is the officer-in-charge of the regional police of the Mimaropa Region, dela Rosa is the executive officer of the Directorate for Human Resource and Doctrine Development (he was relieved as brigade commander few days before election day by the PNP hierarchy after he threatened to crush election cheaters), and Aspera is the chief of staff of the PNP-Anti-Kidnapping Group.
(You can read my selected columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at firstname.lastname@example.org)