MANILA, Philippines --- Deputy Director General Alan LM. Purisima has been named the next chief of Philippine National Police (PNP) after incumbent PNP chief, Director General Nicanor Bartolome, opted to take an early retirement on December 18, President Benigno S. Aquino III announced yesterday.
"He will be retiring. I believe the turnover ceremony will be next week on the 18th," the President said in a press conference after attending the 79th anniversary rites of the Department of Labor in Pasay City.
Purisima is a member of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 1981, which triggered more feng shui-related discussions for the incoming PNP chief having a lot of the lucky number 8.
"Aside from number 8 as a lucky number," Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas said in jest, "It's better that we do it during a more regular time rather than in the middle of the Christmas-New Year time."
In his speech, Purisima expressed gratitude to Roxas whom he said was the one who recommended him as the next PNP chief.
"This is a new challenge for me and I would like to tell the PNP that we will continue the programs started by our Chief PNP, particularly the PNP Patrol Plan 2030. This will be used to better serve and protect the community,' said Purisima, who will become the 18th PNP chief.
As soon as he assumes the post, Purisima said the new PNP's new motto will be "Serbisyong Makatotohanan" which he used to defend from criticisms that the crime rate in Metro Manila has ballooned by more than 30 percent from January to June this year while he was still the director of the National Capital Region Police Office.
He then reiterated that the reason the crime rate increased during his term is that he ordered that all police commanders should cover in their report all criminal incidents, including those reported in the barangay level.
Purisima revealed that he even sent monitoring teams in every police station in Metro Manila to ensure that all police units were reporting the real figure of criminal incidents, compared in the past when police commanders would allegedly deliberately reduce the crime rate to make it appear that they are doing their job well.
"We would like to get everything, we would like to get the data in each and every barangay and with that data we will be able to asses properly on how to deploy our forces," said Purisima.
"That is why the motto of the PNP would be "Sebisyong Makatotohanan", meaning, every policeman will serve every member of the community with his full strength and vigor," he added.
Bartolome, it was recalled, popularized the slogan Pulis Nyo Po and Serbisyong May Kusa.
Early Retirement For Nick
Roxas said the initial plan was actually on December 31 but the assessment of the schedule would make it difficult to hold a turnover.
But instead of the Non-Duty Status (NDS) which no less than President Aquino had offered, Roxas said outgoing chief PNP Director General Nicanor Bartolome will opt for early retirement.
Bartolome is set to reach the mandatory retirement age of 56 in March next year and his decision to retire early will have an impact on the payment of his retirement benefits.
"This is a sacrifice to General Bartolome because he has agreed in the interest of the service to preserve the strength and unity of the PNP. He will indeed be retiring next Tuesday and there will be penalty, financially on his retirement so we have to thank him for being a hero," said Roxas in a press briefing at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
This was confirmed by Bartolome who said that an early retirement would mean Purisima immediately getting the four-star rank.
Who Is Alan Purisima?
Born in November 21, 1959, which means he has until 2015 to serve as PNP chief, Purisima's first assignments as member of the Philippine Constabulary were in Central Luzon until he joined the Presidential Security Group.
Purisima's stint at the PSG under the administration of former president Corazo C. Aquino, is said to be the key factor why he was chosen as the next PNP chief by President Aquino.
Based on his Summary of Information, Purisima spent most of his career as intelligence officer but likewise held station commander posts particularly in Quezon City.
Purisima was also given special assignments focusing on organized crime groups like kidnapping-for-ransom, bank robbery and Partisan Armed Groups.
Purisima served as provincial director of Pangasinan, NCRPO chief and chief Directorial Staff of the PNP before he was named as Bartolome's replacement.
Academically, Purisima also boasts of some accomplishment like Master in Public Administration at the Manuel L. Quezon University and various foreign schoolings focusing on police management, investigation courses and anti-terrorism.