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Marcos orders new police chief to address emerging threats

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WITH a handshake and a tap on the shoulder, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. bids Gen. Rommel Francisco D. Marbil well as the new chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) at Monday’s change of command ceremony at Camp Crame, Quezon City. At right is Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin C. Abalos, Jr.— PHILIPPINE STAR/KJ ROSALES

PHILIPPINE President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. on Monday ordered his newly appointed police chief to step up efforts against emerging threats such as cyber- and transnational crimes, and terrorism.

He issued the order to General Rommel Francisco D. Marbil, 55, during a change in command ceremony at the police headquarters near the Philippine capital.

Mr. Marbil will replace General Benjamin C. Acorda, Jr. as the head of the 232,000-strong Philippine National Police (PNP).

He will serve as police chief until he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56 on Feb. 7, or three months before the midterm elections. He is the third police chief under Mr. Marcos and the 30th since the PNP’s creation in 1991.

Mr. Marbil was the head of the PNP Directorate for Comptrollership. He once led the Eastern Visayas police.

He assumed his post as new police chief amid concerns about deaths related to the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign.

That there had been at least 10 drug-related killings from Mar. 16 to 23, eight of which were confirmed to have been committed by state agents, according to the Dahas project of the University of the Philippines Third World Studies Center.

It recorded 165 drug-related deaths in July to December last year and 29 each in January and February 2024.

Mr. Marcos in December last year extended the term of Mr. Acorda as PNP chief after he turned 56. He was first appointed to the post in April 2023.

Mr. Marbil and Mr. Acorda both belong to the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1991. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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