GUEST OF HONOR. Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. (left), Philippine National Police chief, graces the  change of command of the Police Regional Office-Cordillera at Camp Bado Dangwa in La Trinidad, Benguet on Saturday (Aug. 13, 2022).  Brig. Gen. Ronald Oliver Lee (right) turned over the reins to Brig. Gen. Mafelino Bazar. (Photo courtesy of PIA-Cordillera)

BAGUIO CITY – The newly installed chief of the Police Regional Office-Cordillera (PROCOR) has ordered his personnel to answer all emergency calls within five minutes.

Brig. Gen. Mafelino Bazar, who took over Brig. Gen. Ronald Oliver Lee on Saturday, said a quick response will mean a big difference in stopping criminals.

“If we respond in a short period, not more than five minutes when a call for police assistance is received, we might be able to arrest a perpetrator and bring the person behind bars or save a life if we can respond immediately,” he said in his speech.

Meanwhile,  Philippine National Police chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr., who graced the event at Camp Bado Dangwa in La Trinidad, Benguet, reminded the PROCOR cops that they should always conduct themselves properly.

“We are all ambassadors of the government. Kapag tayo ay walanghiya na makipag-usap sa mga mamamayan, iisipin nila na ang gobyerno ay walanghiya (If we are shameless when dealing with the public, they will think that the government is also shameless),” said Azurin, who grew up and was educated in La Trinidad and once served the province as PROCOR chief.

He urged the police officers to continue linkages and engage with the public in pursuit of the Marcos administration’s goal to make communities safe, progressive, and orderly, including ending local communist armed conflicts.

He ordered PROCOR to monitor the Barangay Development Programs (BDP) under the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) to encourage the people to embrace peace and order.

BDP, a hallmark program of the Duterte administration’s NTF-ELCAC, brings development to former conflict-prone communities, with an initial 822 villages nationwide identified to receive PHP20 million each for farm-to-market roads, classrooms, water and sanitation systems, health stations, and other livelihood projects.

“We need to monitor the programs so that we can be certain they will be finished and the people where they are being implemented will use and see the benefits of the programs,” Azurin said.  “Let us continue to relate with the people and continue to bring back their trust in the police.”

Bazar said PROCOR is committed to ELCAC which President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said will continue under his administration.

“With all agencies delivering services, the NPA (New People's Army) will be a thing of the past,” Bazar said.

The provinces of Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, and Baguio City are under PROCOR  jurisdiction. (PNA)