Ricardo Marquez, outgoing PNP chief, tells officers who are 'demoralized' by the changes triggered by the new administration: 'Hold on to your dreams'
OUTGOING CHIEF. Ricardo Marquez, the outgoing chief of the PNP. Rappler file photo
MANILA, Philippines – When Ricardo Marquez was finally announced the new chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on July 14, 2015, the police force heaved a sigh of relief.
After 7 months of hemming and hawing, President Benigno Aquino III finally picked his 4th and final chief of the police force.
The PNP at that time was still reeling from the effects of the bloody Mamasapano clash, the deadliest one-day operation in the institution’s history. It was also preparing for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, which would see world leaders converge in Manila.
When asked what first came to his mind when he was told he would be PNP chief, Marquez quickly answered: “Would I level up to the expectations?”
FINALLY. Ricardo Marquez during the press conference announcing his appointment to the top post. hoto by Ben Nabong/ Rappler
Two weeks short of his one year in office, Marquez will be donning his 4 stars one last time on Tuesday, June 28, as he retires ahead of schedule.
The Cavite native will be stepping down two months before his mandatory retirement to make way for Chief Superintendent Ronald dela Rosa, incoming President Rodrigo Duterte’s pick to head the PNP.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, January 27, Marquez was all smiles. “Parang graduating na exempted sa finals,” said Marquez, when asked about his retirement. ((It’s like I’m graduating but I’m exempted from the finals.)
But there is one thing Marquez isn’t too excited about: the prospect of many several senior officials finding themselves bypassed because of Dela Rosa’s appointment.
‘We’re talking of momentum’
Duterte’s choice of PNP chief has raised not a few eyebrows inside Camp Crame. Dela Rosa is a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1986, while Marquez is from the Class of 1982.
With Dela Rosa set to take over the force on July 1, that means at least 3 classes – 1983, 1984, 1985 – will miss the chance of seeing their own mistahs (classmate) take the PNP’s top spot. Generals and senior officials from classes ahead of Dela Rosa are worried they’ll be overlooked for key and plum positions in Camp Crame.
Dela Rosa himself earlier announced he would be reshuffling regional chiefs and heads of national operating units. Crime busting is among Duterte and Dela Rosa’s key priorities.
Duterte has famously promised to end – or supress – crime and drugs in the country between 3 and 6 months.
Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief Police Director Victor Deona, Marquez’s PMA mistah, addressed that elephant in the room when he spoke during the blessing of the CIDG’s newly-renovated 3rd floor.
“Perhaps in the next 6 months, I may not know kung saan ako pupunta (where I will go). I might be in limbo before I go on to retire this December,” said Deona.
Asked about this, Marquez said he hoped Dela Rosa would “see the things that we've done and hopefuly will continue doing the things na nakakaayos (that have helped fix problems).”
“Personally when you're the chief and you're a coach of a basketball team, you're looking at Deona, Magalong, Miano, Franco, Vargas – may guwardiya, may sentro, may forward – magaling, di ba? Nakakalungkot siyempre (There’s a guard, there’s a center, there’s a forward, and they’re all good. Of course, this makes me said). We're talking about reforms in this organization.... We're talking of momentum,” said Marquez.
Several of the officials Marquez mentioned are his PMA mistahs.
Police Director Benjamin Magalong, former CIDG chief and current head of the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM), is another classmate of Marquez’s. Magalong has been overseeing efforts to modernize the PNP’s records-keeping system and has been among Marquez’s constant companions on trips around the country.
Directorate for Police Community Relations chief Police Director Wilfredo Franco is another Class of 1982 member. Police Director Noel Lazarus Vargas, also of the same class, is currently the director for plans.
Police Director Ferdinand Miano heads the Directorate for Operations. A graduate of the PMA Class of 1984, Miano is set to retire in 2018 yet – almost a full year after Dela Rosa’s own retirement. Miano worked closely with Marquez for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Manila.
The Class of 1984, however, is closely associated with defeated Liberal Party (LP) presidential candidate and adopted mistah Manuel Roxas II.
HANDS ON. PNP Chief Ricardo Marquez personally inspects security preps during the 2015 APEC Summit. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler
Asked if the officers he mentioned deserve to either retain their positions or get higher ones in Camp Crame, Marquez said: “Hindi ko sinasabi, but these people have been very instrumental in making sure that our objectives to, una, ayusin ang ating crime prevention operations on the ground, ayusin ang ating crime solution effort, ayusin 'yung how you manage a big organization like this.”
(That’s not what I’m saying, but these people have been very instrumental in making sure that our objectives to, first, fix our crime prevention operations on the ground, fix our crime solution efforts, fix how you manage a big organization like this.)
The PNP under Aquino has had its extreme highs and lows. Outgoing Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento boasts of the administration’s successes in ensuring the police are well-equipped.
On Monday, for instance, Sarmiento and Marquez led the blessing and inauguration of two new facilities and newly-acquired trucks. The DILG, under the late Jesse Robredo and later Roxas, made sure the gun-to-police-ratio improved. The purchase of jeeps and other equipment for police were also prioritized by the Aquino administration.
But it was also the PNP that was caught in the middle of the biggest crisis to hit the Aquino administration – the Mamasapano clash.
When Marquez took over the PNP, he made it a point to emphasize that his appointment was a “triumph of meritocracy.” Unlike his immediate predecessor, sacked PNP chief Alan Purisima, Marquez has no personal ties to Aquino.
Marquez made lofty promises when he started his term – ranging from an emphasis on meritocracy, the purging of "misfits and scalawags," non-partisanship during the 2016 polls, solving the problem of illegal drugs, improving existing systems, and going "back to the basics" in policing.
Barely a year later, Ricardo Marquez seems to have no regrets despite his term cut short and the uncertainty felt by his mistahs and other senior officers.
“Hold on to [your] dreams,” said Marquez, when asked for his message for Crame’s senior officials.
“Walang pinag-uusapan na assignment 'pag pinag-uusapan ang public service (When it comes to public service, you don’t even talk about your assignment).” – Rappler.com
Published 11:05 AM, June 28, 2016
Updated 11:05 AM, June 28, 2016
PNP chief Director General Ricardo Marquez. SCREENGRAB FROM PNP PIO VIDEO.
The country’s top cop will be resting and devoting more time with his family once he bows out of the Philippine National Police at the end of the month.
Director Gen. Ricardo Marquez said he is also planning to build a house in Maragondon, Cavite, with his retirement pay from 34 years of service.
“When you have served the government for 34 years, you don’t want to think of work, so the immediate plan is to spend a few weeks on break,” he said in a press briefing in Camp Crame.
Marquez will be retiring on June 28, or two months ahead of his 56th birthday on Aug. 28.
This is to give way to the incoming PNP chief Chief Supt. Ronald dela Rosa, who will be assuming post on July 1, a day after the oath-taking of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.
Marquez served as PNP chief for 11 months.
On June 28, the PNP will be giving Marquez a testimonial parade and dinner to honor him and his family.
Marquez said he received some job offers from the private sector that “he didn’t want to close his doors on” but he would rather not talk about job offers for the time being.
According to the Directorate for Comptrollership, Marquez stands to receive P4,814,125.42 from his commutation of accumulated leave, and a three-year lump sum or retirement gratuity of P3,280,500.
This is on top of his monthly pension of 85 percent of his P67,500 monthly basic pay.
Marquez said he opted to retire early so that Dela Rosa will be able to hit the ground running by July.
He still has a very full schedule on Monday as he will lead the awarding of outstanding policemen, the oath-taking of lateral police officials, the blessing of vehicles and an agreement-signing.
“I want to squeeze myself in every activity before I retire,” he said.
During his stint, Marquez was known for stressing patrolling and basic policing as one of the most effective methods in fighting crime, downloading many policemen from the offices to the streets.
He was known for successfully providing security for the 2015 visit of Pope Francis even before his appointment as PNP chief and last year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meetings in November.
“I’d like to be remembered as someone who was given the very special opportunity to serve our country in a very special capacity as commander of the Papal task force, the Apec security task force,” he said.
Marquez also spearheaded an administrative resource information system, where policemen can apply for promotion and pension benefits through a paperless system.
He said the transition period for Dela Rosa went well as top police officials have been briefing the incoming PNP chief on pressing matters. With a report from Toni Diane Bellen
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TAGS: Director Gen. Ricardo Marquez, Nation, news