Table Talk: Changing of the guards at the PNP PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 12 September 2011 14:01

BY Mike S Apostol

One of the government’s departments that has undergone many changes  for so short a time is the Philippine National Police. Just the other day, PNP Director General  Raul Bacalzo, who is also a lawyer by profession was relieved of his position and replaced by General Nicanor Bartolome, who hails from Tarlac, President Noynoy Aquino’s province. There was no clear reason or violation done by Gen. Raul Bacalzo, that the President relieved him, because Gen. Bacalzo was just new as PNP Chief afer having assumed so many PNP positions of responsibility. The last one was, he, being the Legal General of the PNP before he assumed the PNP’s highest post. General Bacalzo is a big loss to the on-going cleansing of the PNP. He was a good and intelligent and gentleman officer. Perhaps, glancing at the PNP scandal because of helicopter purchases which was done not under his watch, he is a victim of collateral damage.
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I had a brief close encounter with the good general last year when we went to Geneva, Switzerland at the the invitation of the United Nations for Human Rights violation inquiries in the Philippines, by the UN Committee of the Human Rights. Gen. Bacalzo was representing the PNP, now Supreme Court Justice Perez, who was then the Supreme Court Administrator was representing the Supreme Court, myself as Commisioner of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) also representimg my office together with the representatives of the DOJ, DOLE, AFP, Office of the President represented by Gen. Ermita then Executive Secretary, The DFA, all of us from the Philippine Government. Except for Gen. Ermita, all of us stayed in one hotel, Novotel Hotel, for almost a week, six nights to be exact in Geneva .
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It was there that I got familiar with General Bacalzo and Supreme Court Justice Perez, because we had breakfast together at the Novotel Hotel, sharing one table every morning, because like them I was an early waker. After our sessions from the UN, Geneva, we toured Geneva together using the lightrail trains that run throughout Geneva, without a conductor, hence we didn’t pay any fare for the whole week of touring. We had steak for lunch at Geneva’s old city, where most of the tourist attractions are found. I was looking for the residence of William Tell, but nobody knew him in Geneva. After every lunch or dinner ouside our Hotel, we always shared in paying the bill. there was nobody who was going to sponsor a blow-out. It was there I learned and knew that I was in the company of honest and sincere government officials, like General Raul Bacalzo, because his ways were not extravagant. He does not take beer. Only red wine but only once during our steak lunch at the old city of Geneva.
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I told General Bacalzo to excuse me because I was used to drinking beer every night for social drinking and my companion for a few rounds was now Supreme Court Justice Perez, who was then the Supreme Court administrator. Every night we went to a small restaurant owned by a Vietnamese, whos sells San Miguel beer bottled in Barcelona, Spain. If computed to pesos, it was something like 230 pesos per bottle, something like 65 Swiss franks last year. That Vietnamese restaurant also cooks delicious noodles, so we had noodles every night
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It’s nice to know and meet personally high officials like Gen. Bacalzo and Justice Perez. All we can say about them is they are good, honest, sincere and dedicated government officials. General Bacalzo’s relief as PNP Chief  will once again emboldened the fixers at Camp Crame, from licensing, purchases to Permit To Carry firearms and the purchases of firearms by civilians, unless  General Bartolome will continue General Bacalzo’s objectives in this aspect in curbing the corrupt practices of fixers at Camp Crame, the PNP’s image will go back to first base.

Almost all important positions in government are townmates, classmates, or shooting buddies of President Noynoy, Other lower positions are buddies of Ballsy Aquino Cruz and Kris Acquino. While some are friends of their campaign financiers. I hope that this will be good for the country otherwise “it’s the same dog with a different collar”