PNP's First Two-Star Female General

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine National Police (PNP) is set to have its first two-star female general in the organization following the appointment of Chief Supt. Lina Sarmiento to a higher post.

Sarmiento, currently head of the Police Security and Protection Group (PSPG), is one of the two female generals in the male-dominated organization. The other one is Chief Supt. Lorlie Arroyo, head of the PNP-Crime Laboratory.

Sarmiento's appointment as head of the Directorate for Police Community Relations (DPCR) earned her the right for promotion as it is a two-star post. ''I am humbled with this. I take great pride in this new responsibility.''

Should she be promoted, she is also the first female general to be named in the Directorial Staff of the PNP since the organization's inception in the early 1990s.

Sarmiento said she is proud to be making history in the PNP, noting that she is neither a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) and the PNP Academy, the major producers of ranking officials in the male-dominated police organization.

It was learned that Sarmiento entered the PNP in 1980. She has a bachelor's degree in Chemistry and likewise a law graduate.

''I just simply want to be in the police organization, that's why I decided to join,'' said Sarmiento, who is among the more than 9,000 female policemen in the 140,000-strong organization.

Sarmiento's appointment came after a major reshuffle in the top brass that occurred following the retirement of Deputy Director General Benjamin Belarmino. Her predecessor was named as the chief of Directorial Staff.

Sarmiento assumed the DPCR post on Friday. Her previous post is likely to be assumed by Chief Supt. Wilhelm Barlis, who is the current number two man of the Directorate for Personnel and Records Management (DPRM).

Aside from Sarmiento, also given new post is Chief Supt. Miguel Laurel, who will take the leadership of the Eastern Police District following the retirement of Chief Supt. Francisco Manalo.