Relief of PNP officials no big deal

By Alex P. Vidal

“The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.” —Robert Peel

THE leadership of the Police Regional Office-6 (PRO-6) led by

Police Brigadier General Rene Pamuspusan should stop worrying that two of their top officials–Police Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido and Lt. Col. Mannan Muarip are now “outside the kulambo.”

Meaning they have been relieved and reassigned, along with 13 other police officials, to the Office of the Chief PNP (OCPNP).

According to reports, the relief is based on Special Order No. 2020-1079 issued by Police Major General Cesar Hawthorne Binag, acting chief of PNP Directorial Staff; and signed by Police Major General Reynaldo Biay, director for Personnel and Records Management of PNP.

If the relief order came from the PNP hierarchy it’s official and legal.

The OCPNP’s prerogative to reassign and reshuffle all PNP personnel should not be a big deal.

It must be obeyed and followed without




It has been practiced since the PNP was formed on January 29, 1991 when the Philippine Constabulary and the Integrated National Police were merged pursuant to Republic Act 6975 of 1990.

The PNP is a professional organization and all officials must adhere to its rules and regulations.

Thus Director Pamusmusan should not belabor himself “waiting for the reason for their (Espenido and Muarip) relief.”

What’s the use?

The OCPNP can’t be compelled to explain to all and sundry all its plans and purposes for the reassignment of PNP officials.

Nothing is special about Espenido and Muarip, as well as the 13 other PNP officials who have been also reassigned.

Some of the celebrated PNP officials may be media creation, but they are still professional soldiers who must follow the chain of command and serve the community without choosing their assignment.




CORONAVIRUS UPDATE. The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced it would convene a global research and innovation forum to mobilize international action in response to the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

“Harnessing the power of science is critical for bringing this outbreak under control,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “There are questions we need answers to, and tools we need developed as quickly as possible. WHO is playing an important coordinating role by bringing the scientific community together to identify research priorities and accelerate progress.”

The forum, to be held 11-12 February in Geneva, is organized in collaboration with the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness.

The forum will bring together key players including leading scientists as well as public health agencies, ministries of health and research funders pursuing 2019-nCoV critical animal health and public health research and the development of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, among other innovations.

Participants will discuss several areas of research, including identifying the source of the virus as well as sharing of biological samples and genetic sequences.

Experts will build on existing SARS and MERS coronavirus research and identify knowledge gaps and research priorities in order to accelerate scientific information and medical products most needed to minimize the impact of the 2019-nCoV outbreak.




The meeting is expected to produce a global research agenda for the new coronavirus, setting priorities and frameworks that can guide which projects are undertaken first. “Understanding the disease, its reservoirs, transmission and clinical severity and then developing effective counter-measures is critical for the control of the outbreak, to reduce deaths and minimize the economic impact,” said Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, WHO Chief Scientist.

This will also fast-track the development and evaluation of effective diagnostic tests, vaccines and medicines, while establishing mechanisms for affordable access to vulnerable populations and facilitating community engagement.

“The WHO R&D Blueprint is a global strategy and preparedness platform that drives coordinated development of drugs and vaccines before epidemics, and allows the rapid activation of R&D activities during epidemics. It speeds up the availability of the diagnostics, vaccines and treatments and technologies that ultimately save lives,” added Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme.

Setting clear global research priorities for the novel coronavirus should lead to more efficient investments, high-quality research and synergies among global researchers.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo)