Selection for top Ecija cop down to 3 names

- Manny Galvez -

CABANATUAN CITY , Philippines  – The list of recommendees to the post of the next provincial police director of the Philippine National Police in Nueva Ecija has narrowed to only three from the original 18, with a former police station chief of Davao City emerging as the early favorite to succeed Senior Superintendent Ricardo Marquez.

A STAR source from the Camp Crame-based directorate for personnel and records management under police director Abner Cabalquinto, who requested anonymity, said that only Senior Superintendents Ramon Apolinario, Roel Obusan and Roberto Aligayu are on the shortlist of recommendees for the provincial directorship.

Apolinario is currently chief of the regional personnel office of the National Capital Region Police Office. He used to be city director of the Davao City police.

Obusan is assigned with the Highway Patrol Group in Camp Crame. He used to be the intelligence officer of the Nueva Ecija provincial police office.

Aligayu is the former commander of the Regional Mobile Group of the PNP Regional Office 3 (PRO3) based in Camp Olivas, Pampanga.

The search for the new provincial director started as Marquez, who was credited with dismantling syndicated crime groups, private armed groups and the holding of a peaceful elections in the province, is nearing completion of his two-year tour of duty in the province.

Marquez, a member of the Philippine Military Academy’s Batch ’82, has been relieved of his post at least four times but miraculously stayed on. He is considered “too senior” and “overqualified” for the post as his “mistahs” are already holding ranks of chief superintendents in the PNP.

He assumed the provincial directorship on June 28, 2008 vice Senior Superintendent Napoleon Taas who served for only six months.

Under the PNP Law, the National Police Commission will submit the names of three nominees to the provincial governor for his choice. If none of them is selected, the PNP will submit another list.

Originally, at least 18 senior superintendents reportedly applied for the post in the province, considered a breeding ground for future chiefs of the PNP. One of those who became provincial directors of the Nueva Ecija PNP and later rose to become PNP chiefs was retired general Edgar Aglipay who was the province’s top cop in the 90s.

Former Public Works secretary and now Zambales Governor-elect Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. was once provincial commander in Nueva Ecija of the now-defunct Philippine Constabulary, forerunner of the PNP in the late 80s.     

Two incumbent directors of the PNP, Perfecto Palad and Raul Bacalzo, are in the running as PNP chief. Palad, a townmate of Nueva Ecija Gov. Aurelio Umali, used to hold a top position in the province while Bacalzo was once a provincial director.

A police general, one of Marquez’s batchmates, said it is normal for big provinces such as Nueva Ecija to attract a large number of applicants for the post of provincial police director. “As we all know, Nueva Ecija is a juicy position as far as the PNP is concerned,” the general, who once aspired for the post of provincial director in the province, said.

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