Marcos fills chief seats at AFP, PNP, NBI

Marcos fills chief seats at AFP, PNP, NBI
FILE PHOTO: President Ferdinand Marcos Jr delivers his first State of the Nation address at the House of Representatives in Quezon City on July 25, 2022.
Aaron Favila via AFP / pool

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has appointed new officials to lead the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, and the National Bureau of Investigation.

In a series of statements on Monday, the Office of the Press Secretary said Marcos Jr. chose Lt. Gen. Bartolome Vicente O. Bacarro as the new AFP chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. as the new PNP chief, and Medardo de Lemos will take the helm of the NBI as its new director.

Lt. Gen. Bacarro as AFP chief of staff

Bacarro will be taking the post from his Philippine Military Academy (PMA) classmate CS-AFP Gen. Andres Centino beginning August 8. Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said Centine is “slated for a new post befitting a former chief of staff.”

“This will give time for Gen. Bacarro to wind down at the SOLCOM (Southern Luzon Command) and provide him with the transition to his new position in Camp Aguinaldo,” Cruz-Angeles said.

Bacarro will be the first AFP chief of staff with a fixed three-year term, pursuant to the newly enacted Republic Act 11709. 

Cruz-Angeles notes that Bacarro has spent over 30 years serving the army. He also has specialized military training both here in abroad and is a decorated army personnel, including five Distinguished Service Star for exemplary service awards. 

Bacarro graduated from the PMA as part of the “Maringal” Class of 1988 and was eventually assigned with the 5th Infantry Division in Isabela province from June 1988 to 1995. During this stint, he held posts such as platoon leader, company commander, administrative officer, intelligence officer, operations officer, civil-military operations officer, and secretary to the general staff.

Bacarro was also appointed as the Army spokesperson and the chief of public affairs office in Fort Bonifacio in 2004 and he would eventually hold similar positions in Camp Aguinaldo. He held other positions with the AFP before eventually getting designated as the chief of staff of the Army’s 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division. 

Lt. Gen. Azurin Jr. as new PNP chief

Meanwhile, Police Lt. Gen. Azurin will now head the PNP, leaving his post as the commander of the Northern Luzon Police Area. He will take the position from Police Lt. Gen. Vicente D Danao Jr.

Azurin is also a graduate of PMA from the “Makatao” Class of 1989. He previously served as commander of the Southern Luzon Police Area and also held “star-rank positions” in Camp Crame as its director of the Directorate for Comptrollership and for the Directorate for Information and Communication Technology Management. 

He was also once a Maritime Group director, the regional director of Police Regional Office 1 in Ilocos, and the provincial director of Benguet Province, among other positions he held prior to this appointment. 

NBI Director De Lemos

Newly-appointed NBI Director De Lemos will take the post after being assistant director of the agency. He has been with the NBI for 37 years. 

“Director De Lemos rose from the ranks and his appointment as NBI Director is a strong indication of President Marcos’ commitment in strengthening the system of ‘meritocracy’ in the promotion, placement and hiring of government personnel,” Press Secretary Cruz-Angeles said. 

De Lemos graduated from the University of the Philippines College of Law in 1983 and then from the NBI Academy in Tagaytay in 1985. 

He is known for creating the NBI’s Rules of Engagement, “which defined the policy on the use of deadly force in its enforcement operations.” — with reports from Kristine Joy Patag

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