|Incoming PNP chief Nicanor Bartolome Jr. Photo by ABS-CBN
MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - President Aquino has chosen Philippine National Police Deputy Director-General Nicanor Bartolome Jr. as the next chief of the PNP.
This was announced Thursday by Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte.
Bartolome replaces PNP Chief Raul Bacalzo, who is set to retire on Friday, September 9.
Speaking before the media, the current chief of the PNP Directorial Staff said his experience in his previous assignments, which include serving as spokesman to 5 PNP chiefs, will help him in his new role as head of the country's police force.
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MANILA, Philippines - Tarlac province is a connecting link between incoming Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Nicanor Bartolome and President Benigno Aquino.
Bartolome, who will replace Director General Raul Bacalzo on September 9, hails from Pinasling, Gerona town.
The President, meanwhile, traces his roots to Tarlac, where the Aquino and Cojuangco clans are based.
Bartolome became Tarlac police chief while Aquino was congressman of the province's second district in the 1990s.
The police official was deployed to the province following the unrest at the Cojuangco-owned Hacienda Luisita sugar estate in 2004.
Bartolome was a seen as a fast-rising police official until he was reportedly placed "on the freezer" in 2002 after being identified with Sen. Panfilo Lacson.
Before being appointed PNP chief by Aquino, Bartolome also became PNP spokesman, headed the PNP Directorate for Intelligence, and led the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).
Bartolome, who belongs to Philippine Military Academy class of 1980, has a bemedalled career and is a veteran field combat officer in Maguindanao and Cotabato.
He is a recipient of 2 Distinguished Service Medals, 4 Special Service Medals, 2 Heroism Medals, 19 Efficiency Medals, and several dozen other medals and commendations.
He also has a doctorate in Philosophy in Criminology from the Philippine College of Criminology.
He is set to retire in 2013.
No to revolving PNP chief
In an interview with ANC Thursday, Bartolome thanked the President for his appointment. "The position (PNP chief) is a sign of trust and confidence from the President."
"Things happen in the course of one's career. Thank God I was given the chance again to prove myself," he added.
Bartolome said he was waiting for the announcement of his appointment since Monday. "I am happy with the appointment," he said.
He said he supports fixed terms of between 2 to 3 years for the PNP chief to allow the leader to implement long-term programs.
Bartolome also vowed to improve the image of law enforcers.
“Ako naman ay nagserbisyo ng totohanan, at I feel na handa naman ako based on my previous assignments, on my experiences at sa mga iba’t ibang pagsubok na aking kinaharap. Malamang 'yon ay nagbigay ng karadagang points para ako mapili,” he said.
“Dahil may karanasan ka dito, eh nakatulong ito doon sa approach na maaaring gawin ko rin ngayon dahil natuto na tayo sa lima na pinagserbisyuhan, iba’t ibang istilo, ibat-ibang managerial expertise. Parang ako ay combination ng lahat ng iyon,” he added.
Vows to clean PNP image
Under his leadership, he plans to change the tainted image of the police, which had been plagued by various corruption issues such as the “ghost” pensioners and the anomalous chopper deal.
“Ang mga imbestigasyon na kinahaharap ng PNP ngayon ay dapat nating harapin, dapat nating tanggapin kung merong pagkakamali, kinakailangan iwasto natin ito,” he stressed.
He also asked his subordinates to help him change the public perception of policemen.
“Sa atin pong mga kasamahan sa pulis, ibalik po natin ang ating self-pride, ibalik po natin ang self-esteem. Tayo po ay pulis, dapat magserbisyo sa ating mga kababayan, at ang serbisyong ibigay po natin ay yung may pagkusa.”
Bartolome is set to assume the position on September 15. He has 18 months before he retires.
The Tarlac native belongs to the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1980.
He said he had heard rumors about his impending appointment, but never believed on it until today when it was formally announced by Valte.
“Iyong announcement talaga ang naging basehan ko dito at 'yong mga iba’t-ibang announcement kahit na pati mga kaibigayn, hindi ito ang naging batayan natin.”
Bartolome also said he will not fail President Aquino. He also said he was chosen based on merit and trust, not on close ties to the political leadership.
“Gagawin ko pong lahat upang sa ganoon, yung tiwalang ibignaya iya sa akin ay mabigyan ko ng sapat na response.”
"Alam niyo siguro ang pagipili ng isang pinuno, maraming kinokonsider. Unang-una 'yong kakayahan mo bilang pinuno, pangalawa mga naging serbisyo mo, mga naging experience mo. 'Yong trust and confidence ay maaaring isa sa mga pinagbasehan pa upang malagay ka sa ganitong posisyon."
Bartolome was known as the PNP spokesman for several PNP chiefs and had assumed the positions of chief of the National Capital Region Police Office, Calabarzon Police Office, Tarlac Police Provincial Office and director of the Police-Community Relations Group among others before he was appointed as the chief of PNP's Directorial Staff. - Report from Jun Lingcoran and Edwin Sevidal, dzMM