MANILA — MGen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. on Monday formally assumed his post as the new leader of the Philippine National Police (PNP), succeeding retired Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. on his 56th birthday.
Acorda vowed that under his watch, the 228,000-strong police force would be transparent but relentless in its anti-criminality campaign through "sincere police presence."
"We will not rest until every Filipino feels secure in their homes, in their streets, and in their places of work," he said.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said he chose Acorda because he was "well-recognized in the police force."
The President said he trusted Acorda to "calm" the police force as it faces several issues, including the alleged cover-up of a major drug bust in Manila last year.
But just who is MGen. Benjamin Acorda Jr.? Here are some fast facts:
- Before his current post as police chief, Acorda served as the PNP's director for intelligence.
- Acorda is a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) 'Sambisig' Class of 1991. His batchmates include PNP Chief of Directorial Staff Lt. Gen. Michael John Dubria.
- An Ilocano native, Acorda attended Gabaldon Elementary School's Special Education Center and Bacarra National Comprehensive High School, both in Ilocos Norte. As a high school student, he met Oliva Balasi Afaga, who would later become his wife. They have four children.
- He earned his master’s degree in management from the Philippine Christian University and received the Bronze Cross Medal.
- Acorda has undergone specialized trainings such as Police Intelligence Officer Advance Course, Logistics Management Course, and a Training Course on Drug Law Enforcement for the Philippines.
- As a commander, he headed several municipal police stations and the Palawan Police Provincial Office, which became the No. 1 police force in operational accomplishments in the Mimaropa region.
- Acorda also served as the Regional Director of the Police Regional Office 10 in Northern Mindanao and Chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group's (CIDG) Anti-Fraud and Commercial Crimes Division.
- Also among Acorda's previous assignments were director for operations at the Ilocos Norte Police Provincial Office and Deputy Director for Operations and Administration of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).
- He was also the former chief of staff of the PNP Civil Security Group and briefly commanded the PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group.
- Acorda pioneered the creation of the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group and was recognized by China and Taiwan for launching a major anti-cybercrime operation.
- He is a United Nations Blue Helmets member and supervised law enforcement officers from foreign countries in UN peacekeeping operations in Haiti.
- A veteran operations and intelligence officer, Acorda had earned his first star as Executive Officer of the PNP-DI.