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PIA Press Release

Bacalzo vows to continue reforms of predecessors

Manila (15 September) -- Newly-appointed Philippine National Police Chief Gen. Raul M. Bacalzo vowed to continue the good work that his predecessors started shortly after assuming the leadership from Gen. Jesus Versoza.

"Continuity is the operative word and it is in this spirit that we define our goals," said Bacalzo at the change of command rites at the PNP headquarters attended by no less than President Benigno Aquino III.

Hundreds of active and retired police officers and the provincemates and classmates of Bacalzo from his law school at the University of the East and his mistahs at the Philippine Military Academy Class 1977 attended the change of command. Bacalzo served for five years in concurrent capacity as member of the GRP Peace Negotiating Panel in 1993 to 1998.

He enumerated the three tenets of his leadership: a) Our service is a continuing challenge to right what is wrong and review our policies and implement practical action plans; b) discipline, perseverance and dedication will be the hallmarks of our service and c) every police officer must learn the lessons well, focus on the day-to-day responsibilities and push the program for reform.

Bacalzo is an outstanding graduate of the Masikap Class of 1977 of the Philippine Military Academy landing both in the Dean's List and Commandant's list and finishing 12th in the 1984 bar with a rating of 87.43 percent. He made a strong point towards training and re-training of police men to transform them as a "mentor to all, a problem-solver as needed and a teacher to others."

Stressing that PNP's training will go back to basics, Bacalzo cited the importance of "reviving the virtues of discipline and courtesy, good manners and right conduct that are the hallmarks of a public servant and essential to being a good citizen."

"Basic equipment must also be reviewed for the street policeman and the special units for different types of crisis situations. With appropriate (budget) support, we will equip our men and women with the training and resources to handle local problems and provide appropriate solutions," he said. "Every police station must be at the cutting edge of performance and professionalism."

Citing President Aquino's observation about improving the procurement system, the order of the day, according to Bacalzo, is to set the proper standards and specifications attuned to the requirements on the ground.

Bacalzo revealed his plan to put up a human rights help desk similar to the women and children's desk in all 1,528 police stations all over the country.

Bacalzo, who hails from the small town of Tuy, Batangas, said he would begin his "back to basics" training and re-training programs with the 23-strong police force of his hometown. "We will not waste any time," he said. (rdlc/2:00 p.m) [top]

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