RD Deona hopes for 2014 PNPA valedictorian to be deployed in Catanduanes

If he were to be asked, Chief Supt. Victor Deona, Philippine National Police (PNP) Bicol regional director, would want Police Cadet Glenn Tabo Santelices, who is graduating valedictorian from the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) on Mar. 31, assigned in his home province of Catanduanes.

2014 PNPA valedictorian Police Cadet Glenn Tabo Santelices
“Santelices could show a good example and help a lot in persuading his fellow Catandunganons to pursue a career in the police service so that the PNP is able to fill up the gap in the island province’s number of policemen,” Deona on Thursday here said.

The problem in Catanduanes is that many policemen in the province come from the Bicol mainland and they have been leaving for assignment in their home province, taking advantage of the PNP program that provides for the assignment of all police non-commissioned officers (PNCOs) to stations in localities where they reside, Deona said.

This program, he said, intends to allow the PNCOs to properly manage their finances by maintaining only one household.

Hence, Catanduanes is running short of police personnel, given the fact that not much number of qualified applicants comes from the province during recruitment -- even as the quota has been increased, according to Deona.

He cited as example the latest recruitment process that offered 60 slots for the province, wherein only 15 qualified for entry -- with the balance taken by recruits from the mainland who later would work on their assignments in their home provinces.

To remedy the situation, the Bicol police chief said, he has been pushing police chiefs in Catanduanes to come up with an aggressive campaign to recruit more Catandunganons into the local police force, noting its periodic depletion due to transfer of assignments to the mainland.

This case results in the reduction in the number of police personnel and firearms in the province, pointing out that firearms are issued permanently to police personnel, meaning, they take it wherever their place of assignments are.

Recently, Deona said, the Catanduanes police had been allocated 70 brand-new 9mm Glock 17 Generation 4 handguns for issuance to personnel holding the ranks between Police Officer 1-3 who were yet to be issued side arms.

However, only 53 have been issued due to the shortage in recipients, the police regional chief said, noting that he decided to withhold the rest -- pending the final rationalization of personnel assignment in the region’s six provincial commands.

The balance of the handgun release will be given to Catanduanes only after the personnel situation has stabilized, he said.

“We are now also working on the reassignment of policemen from the mainland. We are also momentarily denying requests for transfer to their home province of about two dozens who are currently assigned in the island pending the availability of replacements,” Deona said.

The replacement of those who are seeking transfer will come from new recruits now undergoing PNP Scout training at the Regional Training School in Barangay Villahermosa, Daraga, Albay.

“Also, I am not entertaining notes from politicians,” he said, adding that since he took over as Bicol PNP chief months ago, he has not acted on such letters requesting the reassignment of certain policemen as those without political connections suffer in silence and grumble in private.

All requests for reassignments and designations of officers now have to pass through the regional police board, Deona said.

Anyway, Deona said, the regional police office is maintaining a bigger recruitment quota, expecting that the province would be able to come up soon with more qualified applicants to follow the example of Santelices who strived hard to enter the PNPA and become the academy’s top graduate this year, to the pride of Catandunganons.

Catanduanes Gov. Araceli Wong has said she will be at the PNPA in Silang, Cavite to attend the graduation rites and personally congratulate Santelices and his parents.

Wong said she will also encourage Santelices who will enter the police service with the rank of Inspector (lieutenant in the military rank) after graduation to seek his first field assignment in the province.

This 25-year-old top graduate, who hails from San Andres, Catanduanes, followed the footsteps of his father in the police service, PO3 Heide Santelices, who is currently assigned in Quezon City, according to Wong.

The young Santelices, who will receive the Presidential Kampilan Award and Plaque of Merit, will lead the 201 other graduates of PNPA Mandilaab Class 2014 during their 35th commencement exercise on Mar. 31.

Mandilaab stands for Mandirigmang may Dangal at Isipan Laan para sa Bayan.

“I hope, however, that he doesn’t follow the footsteps of his father in seeking assignment outside of his home province so that he becomes a model and inspiration of our youth into entering the noble career in the police service,” the governor added. (PNA) CTB/FGS/DOC/CBD/UTB
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