MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – Deputy Director General Alan Purisima was formally installed Tuesday as the new chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), replacing Director General Nicanor Bartolome.
Purisima assumed PNP's top post ahead of Bartolome's retirement in March 2013. The decision to have an earlier transition of leadership in the PNP was made in consideration of the 2013 mid-term elections.
In his speech, Bartolome expressed confidence that Purisima will be able to continue the gains he achieved for the PNP.
"Fifteen months may not have been enough to achieve all I have set out to do. I now stand before you, fulfilled and happy in the thought that I've done my best, but with a heart made heavy with the fact that I could have done more," he said.
"I now step down confident in the fact that I'm relinquishing command over the Philippine National Police to an officer who has the same heart and passion for service, and who I am certain will carry on as well with the same dedication and commitment to the ideals of police service," he added.
Purisima, for his part, said he will work hard to further improve the image of the PNP and enhance the competence of all its personnel.
"We shall enhance the competence of each officer. We shall undertake some organizational development and reforms. We shall instill discipline within the ranks, promote excellence in the performance of our duties and institute professionalism at all levels of the organization," Purisima said in his inaugural speech.
The new PNP chief added he will not tolerate corruption within PNP, telling erring police officials to "leave now."
"Tutukuyin natin at aalisin ang mga mapagsamantalang miyembro ng organisasyon. Kaya may mensahe ako sa mga kasamahan natin sa PNP na sangkot sa kasamaan at katiwalian: umalis na kayo ngayon pa lang," he said.
Purisima also called on his subordinates to help him ensure peace during the May elections.
Bartolome, meanwhile, enumerated his accomplishments as a PNP chief, on top of which is the decline in the national crime rate and index.
The former PNP also cited that under his watch, 137 high profile criminals were arrested, and at least 37,797 more were apprehended.
Bartolome boasted the high number of arrests his men made in connection with illegal gambling and drugs.
He also touted his achievements in the administrative aspect of his job, having been able to clean up PNP's procurement process and crime data management, and improve the lives of PNP personnel by making cheap housing and medical services easily accessible.
"To cap it all, our PNP personnel now enjoy higher salaries with the implementation of the last tranche of the monthly salary schedule. Nagpapasalamat kami sa commander-in-chief for making all of these possible," said Bartolome, referring to President Benigno Aquino III who was present during the turnover rites.
Aquino, in return, thanked Bartolome for his service. "May panahon naman sigurong dapat masabi natin na talagang nag-ambag ka na sa ikabubuti ng lipunan, tumutoo ka sa salita. Palagay ko ang dapat sabihin ng taumbayan sa iyo ay 'maraming salamat Nick, naging tunay kang timon ng ating kapulisan."