No demoralization amid movement of senior officials, PNP chief says

PNP chief General Rodolfo Azurin Jr.

By Jennifer P. Rendon

The top brass of the Philippine National Police (PNP) believed that the relief and reassignment of senior police officials, surprising or otherwise, has not demoralized their ranks.

PNP chief General Rodolfo Azurin Jr. issued the statement following the relief of Brigadier General Roderick Augustus Alba effective December 19.

It came as a surprise for some since Alba, who used to be the Iloilo police chief, was only designated as Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 director on Oct. 12, 2022.

“It will not create demoralization because we are in an organization that we always abide by the decisions of the higher authority,” Azurin said.

Azurin said there are compelling reasons why a certain official is being relieved.

“Kaya nga I always tell my personnel, let’s work our best every day as if it’s our last day. May mga various intervening factors that would cause the relief of our officials,” he said.

When categorically asked what the compelling reasons were, Azurin said Alba might not have complied with instructions or guidance that he should focus on operational accomplishments.

“But generally, Gen. Alba naman worked his best naman, and besides that’s not the end of his career. Sometimes, ‘yang mga ganyang challenges and issues, it would give you more motivation and passion to really work hard in making a comeback sa trabaho,” he said.

Sources said, though, that an order from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) pushed for Alba’s relief after he allegedly failed to put a stop to e-sabong.

But PNP records showed that Alba was one of the best-performing regional directors when it comes to illegal gambling.

“Sa PNP, maraming complexities but we always look into the morale and welfare of our people,” Azurin said.

While he acknowledged that Alba might have “low morale,” Azurin said these are the challenges that they must face as police officers.

He cited that he even went on floating status for almost five years.

That’s why it’s important that “we get the support of the community for us to have a good implementation of peace and security program.”

“We get the cooperation and collaboration of everyone and be partners of everyone kasi nga May mga bagay-bagay na set standards na kailangan maramadaman ng tao na ang trabaho natin naipapatupad ng maayos,” Azurin said.

But talks about slight demoralization within the PNP ranks started out after quick changes of field commanders such as provincial, city and regional directors since Azurin assumed the post.

There were also quick changes in some key positions in the last few months.

Maj. Gen. Michael John Dubria was named Area Police Command (APC) Visayas chief on October 30.

By November 4, Dubria was replaced by Lieutenant General Patrick Villacorte from APC Eastern Mindanao, as he was promoted as the chief of the PNP Directorial Staff, the fourth highest position in the force.