Major shakeup in key PNP posts in wake of Albayalde’s departure

By CNN Philippines Staff

The new leadership of the Philippine National Police (PNP) has reshuffled people in key positions following a command conference with President Rodrigo Duterte last week, where he reportedly berated police over the “ninja cops” issue.

A highly-placed source from the PNP leadership told CNN Philippines that there are impending changes affecting the Manila Police District, the Calabarzon police, the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

Documents obtained by CNN Philippines show that PNP acting chief PLtGen Archie Gamboa ordered Saturday a reshuffle of 20 policemen in key posts effective Sunday.

Among those reshuffled is Central Luzon police chief PBGen Joel Coronel, who would now be the acting director of the CIDG. Bloody anti-drug operations were waged under Coronel’s leadership in Central Luzon and previously in Manila.

Taking Coronel’s post in the meantime is PBGen Leonardo Cesneros. Cesneros was Central Luzon’s deputy regional director for administration.

Manila Police District (MPD) Director PBGen Vicente Danao was moved to head the Calabarzon police, replacing PBGen Edward Carranza, who is now PNP’s director for logistics. Carranza is taking PBGen Angelito Casimiro’s post, who was acting Cagayan Valley police chief.

Eastern Police District chief PBGen Bernabe Balba is replacing Danao as MPD chief.

Davao police chief PBGen Marcelo Morales is now the acting director of the Police Security and Protection Group. Replacing him as Davao police chief is PBGen Filmore Escobal, the director of the Police Security and Protection Group.

Mimaropa police chief PBGen Tomas Apolinario Jr. is now deputy director for intelligence, while Eastern Visayas police chief PBGen Dionardo Carlos will now be replacing PBGen Eliseo Cruz as HPG chief.

Cruz is being transferred to the CIDG. PBGen Ferdinand Divina, the deputy director for intelligence, was moved to head the Eastern Visayas police office.

PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (PNP-IMEG) commander PCol Romeo Caramat is at the helm of the PNP Drug Enforcement Group (PNP-DEG). The PNP-IMEG replaced the Counter-Intelligence Task Force and monitors errant cops.

Taking Caramat’s post at the IMEG is Central Visayas PNP Deputy Regional Director for Operations Ronald Lee.

PNP-DEG director PBGen Albert Ferro was reassigned as Bicol’s acting deputy regional director for administration. Meanwhile, PBGen Nicerio Obaob, the Bicol police’s deputy director for administration, is now heading the Mimaropa police office.

The PNP’s intelligence chief, PMGen Timoteo Pacleb, is transferred to the Office of the PNP chief. Also heading to the Office of the PNP chief is PBGen Jose Mario Espino, who is currently Cagayan Valley police chief.

PBGen Joselito Daniel, the deputy director for police community relations, is now acting director of the Police Community Affairs and Development Group. Daniel is switching places with PBGen Rhodel Sermonia.

Meanwhile, PNP’s director for human resource and doctrine development PMGen Mariel Magaway will be heading PNP’s intelligence department. PMGen Amador Corpus, the current CIDG chief, is taking Magaway’s post.

These changes in the PNP’s top brass came after the resignation of PGen Oscar Albayalde as PNP chief amid allegations that he is connected to ninja cops — policemen who take illegal drugs from operations to be sold.

A draft report of Senate panels recommended that graft and drug charges be filed against Albayalde over his and his men’s failure to account for 160 kilos of shabu seized from the drug sting in Mexico, Pampanga, in November 2013.

Albayalde was then Pampanga police chief when 13 of his policemen supposedly got almost ₱1 billion from the irregular drug raid, including ₱50 million they extorted in exchange for the freedom of alleged drug trafficker Johnson Lee.

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