Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. on Monday welcomed the appointment of newly installed Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. and assured the department’s full support for the implementation of reforms in the police service.

Abalos said under a new leadership, he expects the PNP to remain relentless and vigilant in fending off criminal elements to maintain law and order in every nook and cranny of the country.

“Naniniwala akong si Acorda ang nararapat na mamuno sa PNP dahil sa kanyang malawak na karanasan at integridad upang tuparin ang hamon ng pagiging isang chief PNP (I believe that Acorda is the right person to lead the PNP because of his vast experience and integrity in meeting the challenges of being PNP chief),’’ Abalos said.

“Inaasahan ko rin po ang suporta, kooperasyon at pakikiisa ng buong puwersa ng PNP sa bagong liderato upang maayos niyang (Acorda) magampanan ang kanyang tungkulin at mandato bilang pinuno ng kapulisan (I also expect the support, cooperation and unity of the entire PNP force to the new leadership to enable him to perform his duties and mandate as the national police chief),’’ he added.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. installed Acorda as the 29th PNP chief during the traditional change of command ceremony at Camp Crame on Monday.

The commander-in-chief handed over the Command Saber to Acorda signifying his official appointment to the highest post in the PNP. With Acorda’s assumption of the Chief PNP post, he was promoted to the rank of Police General (4 stars).

Acorda replaced Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr., who retired from the police service on his 56th birthday.

During the ceremony, Marcos acknowledged the significant accomplishments achieved by the PNP in the past eight months under the leadership of Azurin.

He noted the substantial achievements in the area of peace and order, particularly in the campaigns against terrorism, carnapping, loose firearms, child abuse, gambling, smuggling, and other illegal activities.

Marcos also outlined his directives to the new PNP chief in support of the administration’s development goals, emphasizing law and order and peace.

He urged the 228,000-strong officers and rank-and-file of the PNP to support the reform initiatives of the past leadership, particularly the internal cleansing program, and strict adherence to the rule of law in every police operation.

Acorda, the second PNP chief appointed by Marcos, was a member of the Philippine Military Academy’s “Sambisig” Class of 1991, and previously served as the PNP Director for Intelligence.

In his message, Acorda called for a “Serbisyong Nagkakaisa,” anchored on the administration’s call for unity and nation-building, moving towards a unified PNP. (PNA)