Now, with the new assignment given to me by the distinguished and respected chief of the Philippine National Police, I say, “I am ever-ready to take responsibility on my new post!”

Thus said newly installed Regional Director of PNP in Northern Mindanao in a simple ceremony held at Camp Alagar, Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City, May 1.

Police Chief Superintendent Conrado E. Laza took over the command of PNP-10 from Police Chief Superintendent Danilo T. Empedrad who bows out of service because of mandatory retirement.

“I know that this coming 2010 national and local elections has made the PNP’s hands full with gargantuan tasks as directed in our mandate. The chief, PNP’s cry for honest, orderly and peaceful elections, indeed has gained momentum. We should continue to give our best in contributing to this effort of the PNP and we will keep doing it even after the elections,” said Laza.

He reiterated that the PNP will concentrate on the accounting of loose and unlicensed firearms in the hands of partisan or private armed groups.

While doing this, Laza said, “We will also focus on the other anti-criminality efforts in our area of responsibility and manhunt operations against wanted criminals.”

We must bear in mind that it is only through a sincere effort to serve and protect that we can earn the respect and cooperation of the people particularly in region 10, stressed Laza.

He said it is not necessary to make comparisons with the other regions as to data on private armed groups (PAGs) and / or election related violent incidents (ERVIs) since region 10 appears to be relatively peaceful.

However, he stressed that we must not be complacent as anything might go off hand during our watch.

Hence, he emphasized that there is no substitute for preventive actions as the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

He further said that we must continue with our dialogues and networking with elected officials and candidates for the coming May 10 elections. The candidates have immediate security concerns and we must, as Commission on Elections allow, be able to address them.

Laza also said, “Let this ceremony be an occasion also for the PNP, particularly for PNP Police Regional Office in region 10 to assure our constituents in Northern Mindanao that their rights shall be continuously respected and protected by their police.”

He said that there will be a lot of challenges ahead but with the collective cooperation and commitment of all members of the regional office, everything shall be addressed accordingly.

There will be times when self discipline or sacrifice may not suffice, hence, Laza said, “It is also my call that we should also be ready for collective heroism.”

In his message, PNP Chief Jesus A. Versoza urged the cooperation of national government agencies for a successful May 10 elections.

Thus, he said, “With the coming elections let us all be together in implementing for a honest and peaceful elections.”

Further, he urged the men and women of PNP to cooperate with the newly installed chief in the region.

Meanwhile, PCSupt. Empedrad said “I can’t help but narrate my life as a police commissioned officer because I feel that there is a need for our younger generation to grasp the fact that we can never grow in our career if we continue to live through our comfort zones. The uniformed service is a venue for adventure. So let us not waste our time. Seek out new assignments and learn.” (PIA 10)

PHOTO: PNP Chief Jesus A. Verzosa (left) presides the turns-over of the Command Saber and Command Property and Equipment from Police Chief Superintendent Danilo T. Empedrad to PCSupt. Conrado E. Laza (right), newly installed PNP Chief in region 10. (Elaine O. Ratunil / PIA 10)

article by Elaine Ratunil

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