Former PNP Spokesman Appointed Now Western Visayas Regional Commander

MANILA, Philippines - The former spokesman of the Philippine National Police (PNP) is now the commander of the Western Visayas regional police in another major revamp that affected at least 10 senior officers of the police organization.

Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz Jr. assumed the leadership of the Police Regional Office 6, or Western Visayas, on Friday from Chief Supt. Cipriano Querol, who in turn, was named the commander of the PNP's elite force, the Special Action Force (SAF).

Querol's assumption of SAF leadership came after its erstwhile commander, Director Catalino Cuy, was designated as head of the Directorate for Human Resources and Doctrine Development, a post vacated after the retirement of Director Ray Lanada.

A member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 1982, Cruz got his first star as PNP spokesman, a promotion that earned him the right for appointment as regional director.

He was appointed as director of the Police Community Relations Group (PCRG) a few months ago before he was named Western Visayas regional director. On Thursday, Chief Supt. Bernardo Florece assumed the PCRG leadership.

Director General Nicanor Bartolome, PNP chief, said the revamp was triggered by the need to replace those who have already been staying in their posts for more than two years.

''Aside from those who already need some movement because of the availability of the position, we also need to promote others that are occupying the same position for almost two years,'' said Bartolome.

''There are more or less 10 positions that will be affected, the ranks range from Senior Superintendent (equivalent to colonel) to Director (two-star general),'' he added.

Other posts that will be affected by the reorganization is the leadership of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations for Southern Luzon and Northern Luzon; PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group and reportedly even the Maritime Group.

Another post that needs to be filled up is the leadership of the CARAGA regional police whose commander, it was recalled, was sacked last week over alleged illegal logging issues in the region.