PBBM names Marbil new police chief, calls for PNP’s ‘finest service'

By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan and Darryl John Esguerra

April 1, 2024, 1:05 pm Updated on April 1, 2024, 1:09 pm

<p><strong>NEW CHIEF</strong>. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (left) installs Gen. Rommel Francisco Marbil as the 30th chief of the Philippine National Police, assisted by Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos (right), at Camp Crame in Quezon City on Monday (April 1, 2024). Marbil replaces Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. <em>(PNA photo by Joan Bondoc)</em></p>

NEW CHIEF. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (left) installs Gen. Rommel Francisco Marbil as the 30th chief of the Philippine National Police, assisted by Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos (right), at Camp Crame in Quezon City on Monday (April 1, 2024). Marbil replaces Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. (PNA photo by Joan Bondoc)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has appointed Police General Rommel Francisco Marbil as the new chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), replacing retired Police General Benjamin Acorda Jr.

Marbil’s appointment was announced during the PNP change of command and Acorda’s retirement ceremony on Monday at Camp Crame.

During the ceremony, Marcos expressed his full support to Marbil as the new head of the 232,000-strong police force.

“Police General Marbil, you have my full confidence and my full support as you begin to champion a police that is pro-God, pro-country, pro-people, and pro-environment,” Marcos said in his speech.

He then called on the new police chief to address emerging threats such as cybercrime, terrorism, and transnational crimes and help the PNP exemplify its “finest service” to the Filipino people.

“We shall continue to uphold the highest standards of professionalism and give the finest service to our beloved citizens,” the President said.

“Let us now ensure that the PNP will be agents of progressive transformation in the lives of our people by ensuring the safety and well-being of every community in the land,” he added.

A member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 1991, Marbil served as head of the PNP’s Directorate for Comptrollership.

He previously held key positions such as the Regional Director of the Police Regional Office 8 (PRO-8), and Director of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG), among others.

Marbil, 55, will retire in February 2025 after he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (right) with retired Philippine National Police chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. (PNA photo by Joan Bondoc)

Job well done for Acorda

Likewise, the President congratulated Acorda for his efforts, patriotism, and unwavering dedication to ensuring the safety and security of the Filipinos as the 29th PNP chief.

Marcos acknowledged Acorda’s “Five-Focused Agenda,” which he said guided the PNP towards more honest law enforcement operations, enhanced information technology capabilities, and stronger community relations.

“The PNP’s efforts in combatting various forms of crime have yielded tangible results, which exhibit the diligence of our officers and personnel, as well as the effectiveness of our programs,” Marcos said.

The President cited an OCTA Research survey conducted last year, recognizing the PNP as the 3rd highest performing and most trusted among 25 government agencies in the second quarter of 2023 with a 76 percent trust rating.

For the chief executive, the survey only “indicates the public’s increasing trust and confidence in the police force.”

“With all these, I believe, the best send-off gift that we can give General Acorda is neither the usual memorabilia nor the typical testimonials. The best parting token that we can offer him is the pledge to exceed what he has done during his watch and to continue the good work that he has begun,” Marcos said.

“I am sure nothing will make General Benjie Acorda happier than seeing the organization he loves so much able to outdo all the previous achievements of the PNP. So, for all these and more, I congratulate and salute General Acorda for a job well done,” he added.

Push for ‘smart policing’

Marbil, meanwhile, said he would push for smart policing methods to address new forms of criminality that also come with the advancement of technology.

This is included in the new top cop’s policy dubbed ‘Oplan Marbil’:
--mobilization of resources and manpower
--advancement of technology for law enforcement
--reinforcement of community relations and cooperation
--boosting of intelligence gathering capabilities
--implementation of effective crime prevention strategies
--leadership development and training for officers and personnel

“To begin, we shall prioritize integrating the PNP-secured mobile artificial intelligence-driven in real-time smart policing program and ICT (information and communications technology) development roadmap in our operations, including an active drive to recruit and train a new generation of police officers and support staff with technical expertise and specialized IT skills,” Marbil said in his speech.

The new top cop also vowed to maintain utmost vigilance and an uncompromising stance in the fight against transborder criminality and terrorism.

“We will be looking at the infrastructure and membership of this organization critically, employing a holistic approach to assess and determine ways by which we can increase effectivity, efficiency and productivity throughout the 17 police regional offices, 102 provincial and city police offices and 1,824 city and municipal police stations that spread across the 17 regions of the Philippines,” he said.

Marbil said the PNP will continue improving its engagement with communities and use emerging technologies and social media in fighting crime.

“As we put transformative policies in place, we shall also seek for the seamless alignment with other Philippine government agencies for collaborative undertakings when and where necessary. We shall aim to have shorter lines of communications, improved coordination and readiness as well as clearly defined parameters of tasks and responsibilities,” he said.

Marbil also assured the PNP’s continued support for its members in developing, improving and refining their skills for their career progression as law enforcers.

He said police officers must possess critical thinking and problem solving skills to address “unique situations” and become catalysts for essential changes within the organization.

“We need officers who can communicate with the public well, display empathy and conduct themselves at all times responsibly, ethically, and morally. We need officers who recognize that it is simply not enough to act decisively, relentlessly and fast in the war against crimes but that there must also be accountability and transparency on our end and most importantly, we will nurture police officers to whom a human approach to law enforcement is a given. Investing in you is an investment in the future of the PNP,” he added. (PNA)