Puerto Princesa City Police Office (PPCPO) outgoing city director PPSUPT Ronnie Francis M. Cariaga turns over the Command Symbol and Property Book to the incoming acting city director PPSUPT Marion D. Balonglong on Monday, with Mayor Lucilo Bayron as the main witness.

New acting director Senior Superintendent Marion D. Balonglong said Monday his leadership of the Puerto Princesa City Police Office (PPCPO) will mainly focus on “internal cleansing” to weed out misguided police personnel.

Balonglong said aside from implementing a firm hand on police discipline, he will also work on stepping up the PPCPO’s campaign against illegal drugs and fighting criminalities for the safety and security of residents.

He assumed the position of “acting city police director” from outgoing director Senior Superintendent Ronnie Francis M. Cariaga in a change of command ceremony at the City Hall.

“Hindi tayo lalayo doon sa project at programa ng ating mahal na chief PNP director general [Oscar Albayalde] na ‘yong internal cleansing niya. Second is the campaign against illegal drugs, and the third is the campaign against crime,” he said.

(We will not go far from the projects and programs of our dear chief PNP director general Oscar Albayalde about internal cleansing. Second is the campaign against illegal drugs, and the third is about the campaign against crimes.)

Balonglong, who was relieved in November 2018 as Las Piñas chief of police due to command responsibility in connection with the involvement of 36 station drug enforcement officers in a robbery-extortion case, was appointed to be the acting city director of the PPCPO on January 11.

He said he was only notified about his appointment on Sunday, January 13.

Balonglong assured residents of Puerto Princesa City that his relief as chief of the Las Piñas City Police Office (LPCPO) was not due to involvement in the case, but due to “command responsibility for alleged crimes committed by his subordinates.”

“Ang nangyari doon, isinauli namin ‘yong natanggap na P30,000. Kasama po ako sa nanghuli doon sa tatanggap ng pera, at ang sabi noon ay members ng drug enforcement unit ng LPCPO. Nag-conduct kami ng further investigation at nag-file kami ng kaso sa mga sinasabing kasamahan noong nahuling tatanggap sana ng P30,000,” he said in separate local media interviews.

(What happened there was we returned the P30,000. I was part of the team who arrested the one who was supposed to receive the money, and he said it was the members of the drug enforcement of the LPCPO who are involved. We conducted further investigation and filed cases against those who are with the police personnel who was supposed to receive the P30,000.)

Balonglong said his relief was part of the process and that he had already served the LPCPO for two years. He was assigned after at the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).

Meanwhile, Cariaga thanked all police personnel of the PPCPO for supporting him during his leadership and the city government through Mayor Lucilo Bayron.

He said he enjoyed his stay in Puerto Princesa City that has helped him serve with integrity.

“The PPCPO is very different compared to other police offices in the country. Ang manner ng pag-deliver ng mga police ng sarili nila ay very much different. Kampante ako na maayos niya [ni city director Marion] ang Puerto Princesa City. Si Marion naman is na-assign na rin ng Metro Manila area, ‘yong mga experiences niya doon sigurado ako dadalhin niya dito ‘yon,” said Cariaga.

(The manner in which the police personnel here deliver themselves is very much different. I am confident that city director Marion can serve Puerto Princesa City well. Marion has been assigned in the Metro Manila area, and I’m sure he will bring his experiences here.)

Mayor Lucilo Bayron, who stood witness to the event, extended his “gratitude and appreciation” to Cariaga for the service he rendered to the city.

Bayron said Cariaga will be missed in Puerto Princesa City.

“This morning proves na talagang walang forever dito sa mundo. Everything is temporary and everything must come to a stop, to an end. Today will be the last day… kanina ‘yong last minute nang tour of duty of Police Senior Superintendent Cariaga in the City of Puerto Princesa,” said Bayron.

(This morning proves that there is really no forever on earth. Everything is temporary and everything must come to a stop, to an end. Today will be the last day… a while ago was the last minute of the tour of duty Police Senior Superintendent Cariaga in the City of Puerto Princesa.)

Bayron said to Cariaga that he is always welcome in the city with his family, relatives, and friends.

To Balonglong, he said his communication lines will be open in case the city government’s support is needed.

“The city leadership looks at the peace and order as a prerequisite to development. Napakabilis ng kaunlaran sa lungsod ng Puerto Princesa and I am sure nakikita ninyo ‘yong bilis ng change in the city and that is because matahimik ang lugar natin (Development in Puerto Princesa is very fast and I am sure you can see this change in the city which is because it is safe and quiet here),” said Bayron.

Bayron also encouraged all the city government and police personnel to fully support Balonglong.