BUTUAN CITY– The third highest ranking official of the country’s police force delivered a powerful message to officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) at Camp Rafael Rodriguez, less than a month before he retires from service.
Police Director Benjamin Magalong described his 38 years in service as a humble experience that was rooted in service to others.
“It became about putting the needs of others above my own. It was about giving value to humility instead of authority. It was about winning the trust and respect necessary to have the kind of influence that changes lives and achieve our goals to serve our people,” Magalong said.
Magalong also shared his fond memories on how a classmate in high school convinced him to take the exam and go to the Philippine Military Academy.
“Pamartsa-martsa lang daw susweldo ka na,” Magalong recalled in jest.
(You’ll just march around and then you’ll earn money.)
He later graduated Magna Cum Laude of PMA “Sandigan” Class of
1982 and joined the police force.
Magalong shared how he became a tough leader to his men in various positions he held and how he evolved to be the compassionate leader he wished for the men he works with to be.
He recalled how he was described as a leader ready to eat cannon for breakfast.
“The real essence of transformation is individual acknowledgment that something must be changed from within. I recognize the need to change. I went through it and I did my best impart this lessons to my team in PRO [Police Regional Office] Cordillera, in CIDG [Criminal Investigation and Detection Group], in DIDM [
Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management] and now in the office of the deputy chief for operations. Public serv[ice] is about cultivating a public servant's heart. It is about compassion. It’s not about power, prestige and supremacy. As an inspirational leader once said, the way to the top is through the bottom,” he said.
Magalong was put on the spotlight when he led the investigation into the Mamasapano incident where 44 men of the PNP's Special Action Force were killed in combat while in a terrorist lair last January 2015.
Recently, Magalong again displayed character when he pointed out with candor PNP CIDG-8's lapses in "police protocol" while serving the search warrant on Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa inside the Baybay Sub-provincial Jail. Espinosa died in an alleged shootout.
He is retiring on December 15 this year.