PBBM picks Bacarro as AFP chief, Azurin Jr. to head PNP

The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of National Defense (DND) welcomed on Monday the designations of Lt. Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. and Lt. Gen. Bartolome Bacarro as incoming chiefs of the PNP and the military, respectively.

Azurin, a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1989, is currently the chief of the Northern Luzon Police Area, while Bacarro, a member of PMA Class 1988, is currently the commander of the Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM).

The designations of both by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. was announced by Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles, who added Bacarro will assume his new post on August 8 and will be the first chief of staff under the three-year fixed term in the military.

Azurin will replace PNP Officer in Charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. while Bacarro will replace Gen. Andres Centino, the current chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and whose retirement under the old military retirement law should be in February next year.

Under the old law, military officers are compulsory retired upon reaching the age of 56. This however had been extended by the new law to 59.

A statement from the PNP Public Information Office chief Brig. Gen. Roderick Augustus Balba said the 226,000 members of the PNP supports the appointment of Azurin and the new leadership of the organization.

“Under Police Lt. Gen. Azurin’s direction, we assure the public that our police force will sustain its momentum to carry out PNP’s mission and to deliver its mandate with utmost integrity, credibility and professionalism, all for safety and protection of our Filipino people,” he said.

On the other hand, DND Officer-in-Charge Jose Faustino Jr. welcomed the appointment of Bacarro, his classmate at the academy. Both are members of PMA Class of 1988.

“Lieutenant General Bacarro’s appointment as Chief of Staff bodes well for the AFP as he will be given a longer period to implement reforms and institutionalize policies that will redound to the benefit of the organization,” Faustino said.

Bacarro will be the first senior officer appointed under Republic Act No. 11709 (RA 11709), which took effect last July 1, 2022 and mandated, among others, a fixed tour of duty of three years for the Chief-of-Staff and other officers holding key positions.

“As mandated by RA 11709, General Bacarro will be accorded a fixed term of three years as AFP Chief of Staff,” Faustino said.

Bacarro had also served as commander of the 2nd Infantry Division and the 502nd Infantry Brigade of the 5th Infantry Division.

The DND said Centino, who is also a member of PMA Class of 1988, would get a new post under the current administration.

“We also extend our profound gratitude to General Andres C. Centino, and wish him well as he embarks on a new chapter of his career,” Faustino said.