PNP gets 1st female 2-star general

By Cecille Suerte Felipe, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jun 23 2012 12:21 AM | Updated as of Jun 24 2012 02:19 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The male-dominated Philippine National Police (PNP) now has its first woman two-star general in the person of Director Lina Sarmiento.

PNP chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome formally inducted into office Sarmiento, head of the Directorate for Police Community Relations (DPCR), after President Aquino approved the recommendation of Interior Secretary and National Police Commission chairman Jesse Robredo on her promotion.

Sarmiento is the first policewoman to get the two-star rank or police director (equivalent to a military major general) in the history of the PNP.

The newly promoted director thanked the President and Robredo and vowed to work harder to help the PNP regain the trust and confidence of the people. Sarmiento’s unit – DPCR – is in charge of police programs designed to bring the agency closer to the people.

Sarmiento joined the police service in 1990 as a forensic chemist and has since held various positions in the PNP Crime Laboratory, Directorate for Operations, Police Regional Office and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

She was erstwhile Director of the PNP Human Rights Affairs Office (HRAO) and the Police Security and Protection Group (PSPG) before she was designated to her present position in the PNP Directorial Staff.

Sarmiento is one of two female star-rank officers currently serving in the PNP.

The other is Police Chief Superintendent Lorlie Arroyo, director of the PNP Crime Laboratory.

The 143,000-strong PNP has some 11,000 female police personnel assigned in regional offices and national support units.

During the same ceremony, Bartolome administered the oath of office to newly promoted Chief Superintendent Henry Rañola Jr., executive officer of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations (DIPO) in the Visayas.

PNP spokesman Senior Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said members of the PNP officer corps and rank and file warmly welcome this latest promotion of senior officials.

Cerbo said the Senior Officers Placement and Promotion Board carefully evaluated the promotion of senior officers to the next rank based on merit, seniority and competence.

Not as good

Meanwhile, Bartolome said yesterday that some policemen have good marksmanship but not as good as that of world practical shooting champion Jethro Dionisio, a Filipino shooter who, along with other private gun enthusiasts, has been providing marksmanship training and donating ammunition for certain policemen.

Bartolome said Dionisio consistently topped international practical shooting competitions and many policemen could not match his prowess in the field of shooting and handling firearms.

“Jethro Dionisio is a world champion and perhaps he expects our policemen to be like him,” Bartolome said in reaction to Dionisio’s statement that more than 50 percent of policemen are having difficulty doing basic marksmanship.

Dionisio said the PNP leadership should provide additional budget for the training of its personnel, to ensure their efficiency and capability in shooting criminals.

“So far from my experience when I provided marksmanship training, about 50 percent had difficulty doing our basic training,” Dionisio said during the Defense & Sporting Arms Show pre-event press conference.