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New PNP chief takes oath

Posted by Abi Kwok on September 27, 2008

By Abigail Kwok
First Posted 10:11:00 09/27/2008


MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE 3) Director General Jesus Verzosa was officially sworn in as the new Philippine National Police chief Saturday.

Outgoing chief Avelino Razon turned over the PNP command in ceremonies led by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at Camp Crame general headquarters in Quezon City.

Razon reaches the mandatory military and police retirement age of 56 Saturday.

Verzosa, who was with his wife and daughter, said honing the leadership of police from “the national headquarter-centric level to the field level” would be high on his agenda.

“My appointment is coming at a time where the police force is starting a new direction towards fortifying its role as the guardian of the people,” he said in his acceptance speech. “People are clamoring for improvement in the PNP.”

“The big challenge is to gain public trust and credibility. This is the challenge the PNP took head on as a reform agenda. Consistent with [President Arroyo’s] program of good governance, the challenge of sustaining initial gains now rests on us,” said Verzosa.

He said that his first task as PNP chief is to conduct leadership and organizational training to members of the police force to “hone their self confidence and the characters of a leader.”

“Effective leadership not only implements but also stewards. Stewardship. Developing leaders down to the precinct level,” he said.

“Focus on leadership not only as a role but as a function,” said Verzosa, who vowed to continue the reform programs of his predecessor.

In his farewell message, Razon expressed support for Verzosa.

“I leave, happy in the thought, that I will be leaving my post in the hands of someone as passionate as me,” Razon said.

He also expressed gratitude to the entire police force for “practicing duty above self to protect democratic institutions. Mamang pulis is indeed back.”

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Mamang pulis has done his best. Your trust and confidence has helped me to go forward… despite of the challenges along the way,” Razon said.

He described his less than one year term as PNP chief as filled with “acid tests,” citing the Glorietta 2 bombing, the nationwide transport strike last December, the Jun Lozada allegation of abduction, and the kidnapping of broadcast journalist Ces Drilon.

Politicians and celebrities witnessed the changing of the guard at Camp Crame. They inlcuded actor Eddie Garcia, former military chief and presidential adviser on the peace process Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Military Chief of Staff General Alexander Yano, and crime watch leader Teresita Ang See.

A member of the Philippine Military Academy Magilas Class of 1976, Verzosa was chosen as the 15th PNP chief.

The new PNP chief has a law degree and a master’s degree in business administration.

Born in Dasol, Pangasinan, on December 25, 1954, Verzosa is married to Cynthia Verzosa, and they are blessed with two children, Joyce, a law graduate, and Eric, a medical student.

Verzosa, who chairs the PNP Housing Board, is a recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Lingkod ng Bayan Award from the Civil Service Commission, two Cavalier Awards from the PMA Alumni Association, and several service medals for efficiency, merit and outstanding achievement.

Upon graduation from the Philippine Military Academy in 1976, Verzosa saw action in the field as platoon leader and later as company commander under the 54th PC Battalion in Tuburan, Basilan, and in Parang, Maguindanao, at the height of the Mindanao campaign.

Upon his return to Luzon, he was assigned to various positions in the now-defunct Philippine Constabulary (PC) Metrocom until he returned to field in 1986 as Chief of the Intelligence and Investigation Branch of the Rizal PC/INP Command.

Before his designation as deputy chief for administration in October last year, Verzosa occupied other leadership positions in the command group and directorial staff, as well as in the various regional police offices and key national support units.

He was deputy chief, PNP for Operations (September 2007); chief, PNP directorial staff (January 2007-August 2007); director, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (2006); regional director of the Calabarzon command (2005); and regional director of the Cordillera (2004), among other posts.

Verzosa is also the executive director of the PNP Program Management Office, the prime mover and overseer of the internal reforms being undertaken by the national police under its Integrated Transformation Program. With Michael Lim Ubac, Philippine Daily Inquirer


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