Espina named new Metro Manila police chief

By Cecille Suerte Felipe, The Philippine Star

Posted at Sep 06 2012 01:43 AM | Updated as of Sep 06 2012 09:43 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome announced Wednesday the appointment of Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina as the next director of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).

NCRPO chief Director Alan Purisima was promoted to chief directorial staff post, vice Deputy Director General Rommel Heredia, who was named PNP deputy chief for operations.

Bartolome said the turnover of command will be done on Friday at Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig.

Purisima, a member of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 81, served as a member of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) during the term of President Corazon Aquino.

Purisima was one of the PSG agents who had secured the future President Benigno Aquino III in an ambush during a coup attempt when his mother was president.

Heredia replaced Deputy Director General Emelito Sarmiento, who took over as PNP deputy chief for administration, a position vacated by Deputy Director General Arturo Cacdac Jr., who went on non-duty status about a month before Oct. 11, when he turns 56, the mandatory retirement age for police and military personnel.

Cacdac and Sarmiento were members of PMA Class ’78 while Heredia belonged to PMA Class ’79.

Purisima’s promotion came amid a series of crime incidents, the latest of which was the killing of an American during a robbery inside a convenience store in Manila.

However, PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said crime statistics have dropped during the last three months or from June to August this year, despite spiking in the period January to June.

Cerbo said more personnel from the Regional Public Safety Battalion on motorcycle with communication equipment would be deployed in crime- prone areas.

“We will also be deploying liaison officers to directly monitor and coordinate with the people in the field,” he said.

Cerbo said the PNP will have a united front against criminality following a series of incidents in Metro Manila.

It will be comprised of local government officials, barangay officials and other civic-minded organizations, he added.

Cerbo said close circuit television cameras have caught on video some of the heists, including the latest one inside a convenience store in Manila where an American was killed.