The new acting PPPO director, Senior Superintendent Dionisio Bartolome Jr.

New Palawan Provincial Police Office (PPPO) director Senior Superintendent Dionisio Bartolome Jr. vowed efficiency and effectivity in leadership Wednesday to instill discipline in the police force in the province, fight illegal drugs, and criminalities.

Bartolome, who assumed the position on January 10 from outgoing provincial police director Senior Superintendent Gabriel Lopez, said he will not deviate from the three major directives of the Philippine National Police (PNP) so “the war on drugs and crimes will continue”.

“We will not deviate from the three directives of the higher office and of the regional office. So, the war on drugs will continue. War on drugs and [war against] criminality are our main focus pa rin. Then ‘yong disiplina ng mga tao, we will be focusing on this sa internal cleansing process. [To the police officers,] their activities will continue which is keeping the peace and enforcing the law,” said Bartolome.

A member of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) Class 1995, Bartolome’s assumption of office as provincial police director from Lopez was ordered on January 8.

Before his Palawan assignment, he served as the police chief of Muntinlupa, Pasay, Makati, and Rizal province. He was also the intelligence officer of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and the station commander of the Quezon City Police District Station 1 (QCPD 1).

Bartolome became controversial last year after he was relieved as Muntinlupa chief of police due to “command responsibility.”

This was because eight of his anti-narcotics policemen, including his drug enforcement unit team leader, were linked in a kidnap-for-ransom case.

Bartolome was also relieved in 2017 as head of the Makati police along with his intelligence division chief after some of his men were linked to a robbery-extortion case.

He was again relieved as chief of police in February 2018 of the Pasay City Police Office (PCPO) because his men and other personnel were caught sleeping and drinking while on duty.

Bartolome said he was punished because of the faults of his subordinates. He also denied any involvement in all of those wrongdoings.

“I have to suffer the consequences of leading units na may nagloko. Sa akin, open book naman kami. Almost 25 years naman na akong nagtratrabaho as police, hindi naman lahat doon puro kapalpakan. Kung may cases ako, di lalabas din di ba? All open book, wala naman kaming tinatago, actually. Kaya nga tayo nabibigyan pa rin ng pagkakataon na magsilbi kasi hindi naman kami loko-loko,” Bartolomeo pointed out.

On the Makati case, Bartolome said he and his intelligence chief were immediately “exonerated” a week after they were relieved.

“Siyempre na-relieve naman kami sa kwan (sa Pasay) kasi sabi kapag may natulog [o] mahulihan kami nang may natutulog [mare-relieve kami]. May isang PCP (Police Community Precinct) kami na kahit na sinabihan mo naman noon na hindi puwedeng matulog, natulog [pa rin] naman sila. ‘Yong nag-iinom, hindi naman sa amin. ‘Yong sa amin lang ‘yong may nahuli lang na natutulog,” Bartolomeo said.

Bartolome said that his career was highlighted by his stint as QCPD Station 1 commander because it became the most efficient assignment among all police stations in Metro Manila.

“I was in QCPD Station 1. There was a wakwak incident. May kinidnap in broad daylight, kinuha ‘yong galing sa Edsa, malapit sa Ortigas [ng] pito[ng] tao galing sa La Loma. Ako ang ipinalit na station commander at na-debacle naman ‘yan, ako ang nag-resolve diyan. After 10 months naging number 1 station ‘yong La Loma out of 23 stations sa Metro Manila,” he said.

Bartolome believes these past issues will not get in the way of his leadership in Palawan now that he is the province’s police director.