On April 24, 2023, the incumbent chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Gen. Rodolfo Azurin, will be bowing out of office. That is, if the President will not extend his service. But it is our take the President won’t do it to avoid criticisms his late father received when Marcos Sr. extended the term of several of his trusted military and constabulary officers, the most famous among them was General Fabian Ver, then chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

And suppose indeed the President will just let General Azurin go according to the mandated tenure of office. In that case, the likelihood is that some three to four 3-star police generals will be at the top of the list for President Bongbong Marcos to choose from.

Of course, the situation will present another picture if Marcos Jr. does a former President Duterte. That is, appoint one from either the 2-star or 1-star police general to replace Azurin. Under the constitution, the President can do it if he so wishes.

Based on records, though, most of the appointed Police Director General since the creation of the PNP are from the country’s biggest island – Luzon. There were a few Visayans, and to our recollection, only one from Mindanao, then P/Gen. Bato dela Rosa from Davao del Sur. And it was during former President Duterte’s time. The former President himself hails from Mindanao – Davao City specifically.

With Azurin’s impending exit, one aspirant who is both Visayan and Mindanaoan to replace Azurin is Lt. Gen. Michael John Dubria, who hails from Negros Occidental and had spent long years of his life in Davao City.

If General Dubria’s qualifications are to be the major criteria for one to be appointed to head the PNP, he surely can showcase his services and performance during his stint as the Director of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO). Dubria, then a Police Colonel, was able to create a good mix of the police image both as a law enforcement agency and as a social institution within which the people show their respect even as they treat the uniformed men as one important component of society.

During his incumbency as city director, Dubria showed the firm hand of the police as enforcers of the laws of the land fairly and squarely but without diminishing even a bit of the granite element of the law. Nonetheless, the enforcement of these laws during his time as city director was carried with human consideration.

It was also during his incumbency as city director that the police were introduced into engaging the community not only to make it easy for them to arrest criminals but more to ensure that at the community level commission of crimes is prevented with the support of the people.

While it is true that Davao City is just a microcosm as compared to the entire country as a service area of the police, it cannot be denied that all the good things the police can do start from anything small – and in smaller areas or jurisdictions, for that matter.

It is our take that Lt. Gen. Dubria can very well expand his showcase in Davao to a national level if he gets the opportunity and the support from the entire membership of the police force.


Talking of retirement or exit from the service, we know of one also bowing out from his term as senator of the Republic. He is no other than erstwhile Partido Demokratiko ng Pilipinas (PDP) President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, also a Mindanaoan-Ilocano. His second 6-year term will end in 2025.

Pimentel ably took over the helm of the then PDP-Laban from his father, the late Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel. Jr. who founded the party from scratch and had dogged determination to put up a credible opposition to the then-dominant party and the fragmented anti-Marcos Sr. groups shortly before the closing years of the Martial law regime.

Koko’s PDP leadership was very well respected, and the party was headed to gain a strong national foothold when its candidate for President, then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte, was elected President in 2016 National elections. But the glory days were short-lived even as Pimentel found his party overloaded with disloyal piggyback riders and advantage takers.

With Koko out of the Senate by 2025, the current PDP stalwarts will likely be jumping ship and seeking survival and even “greener pastures” in the new dominant political party. History will back us up on this.

So, the only way to keep the PDP afloat and maintain its relevance is to have its continued representation in the Senate or even in the lower house if that is practical and more doable. And the present loyal party members need not go far in their search for a possible replacement for the soon-to-be outgoing Senator Koko. They have one in the party backyard itself. And the party will not even lose the magic of the Pimentel name should the members finally decide to field the Pimentel replacement.

We are referring to no other than the very private, low-key, but very hardworking chairperson of the PDP Cartes Foundation in Koko’s wife Kathryna Yu Pimentel. Remember this woman, the wife of Senator Koko, who, for the love of the senator, created a stir in the hornets’ nest of his political life?

Yes. Senator Pimentel, for his love of Kathryna, and the soon-to-be-delivered baby of Koko, the senator felt it worth violating health protocols at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic by personally bringing his wife Kathryna to the hospital even if the lawmaker from Cagayan de Oro knew then that he had just been diagnosed to have been positive of the COVID-19 symptoms. The courage of Pimentel in bringing to the hospital his about-to-deliver-their-baby wife Kathryna with his own life at risk of serious infection. Or risking other people’s lives, was kind of putting flesh to the statement that Kathryna and the baby “were worth dying for” by Koko or his political life.
Now, after that controversial show of affection by Koko Pimentel to his wife and baby, Kathryna is paying him with her silent but fruitful support through her work in running the PDP Cares Foundation, the social development arm of the political party of Pimentel.

A good deal of Kathryna Yu Pimentel’s PDP Cares Foundation projects is in Mindanao, including its engagement in the relief efforts for the internally displaced people (IDP) of Marawi city after it was attacked by terrorist groups. Kathryna Pimentel led efforts of the PDP Foundation in mobilizing goods intended to be distributed to the IDP families to help sustain their day-to-day struggle for survival.

She also led the PDP Cares Foundation and did the same initiatives of providing assistance to the victims of the Mt. Bulosan eruption in Sorsogon. And all throughout the COVID pandemic years, she oversaw efforts of the PDP social development arm in assisting the effective implementation of online learning in various parts of Mindanao and the Bicol Region, where the bulk of disadvantaged students reside.

In all these activities, the wife of Senator Koko shunned even an iota of publicity and did the work at times without the knowledge of her husband, the senator.

Now, there can be a lot of things that can be written about the Pimentel wife but with these initial traits that we knew about her, any further search for a possible Koko Pimentel replacement in the political area need not be done farther away from the Pimentel household and the PDP circle. And she could be better than any other neophyte in politics. After all, she has by her side the best teacher a newbie in politics can have in the person of her husband, Senator Koko Pimentel.

Source: Mindanao Times ( https://mindanaotimes.com.ph/2023/04/01/rough-cuts-2-who-have-the-potential/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rough-cuts-2-who-have-the-potential#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rough-cuts-2-who-have-the-potential)