New PRO1 chief says: Let’s get rid of drugs

“I have my marching orders from the high headquarters that the first priority is on our integral campaign against illegal drugs and also on anti-criminality.”

Chief Supt. Gregorio R. Pimentel, newly-installed regional director of the Police Regional Office 1, made the remarks upon assumption of office recently.

“I still don’t know how to go about the issue on corruption but my priority will be on drugs because that’s the number one desire, to get rid of drugs in the community,” Pimentel said.

Pimentel, a native of San Quintin, Pangasinan and former Deputy Regional Director for Administration of PRO13, said he dreamt of serving PNP in Luzon when he was serving for PNP in Mindanao for 32 years.

“While spending too long lonely years in Mindanao, I promised myself that by the time I will be assigned here in Luzon, I will attain the rank of one-star general and this is it,” Pimentel said.

To know the pressing problems on the ground, Pimentel said he would call for a command conference with all four provincial directors and senior officers.

He also vowed to continue the good works of his predecessor, Chief Supt Ericson T. Velasquez who led PRO1 for less than a year.

He said further that he would engage crime busting advocacies to make Region I a premiere region in Luzon. He is also set to make PRO1 cops from top to lowest unit ‘clean’.

For his part, Velasquez humbly said in his outgoing message that he could not speak of his legacy but cited that all that he had done under his leadership was in accordance with the rules and the mandate of the office.

“I see no extra ordinary accomplishment, except of course to set the high morale standard and the morale fiber of the people because we believe we need to have the best people to serve. This is the main ingredient of a successful mission here in the police organization,” said Velasquez.

Velasquez is now designated as the Officer-in-Charge of the Directorate for Police Community Relations, a two-star rank position at National Headquarters in Camp Crame.

The simple turn-over of command that was held recently held at Camp Brigadier General Oscar M. Florendo Grandstand in San Fernando City, La Union was officiated by Chief Supt. Ramon C. Apolinario, the PNP’s Acting Chief of the Directorial Staff.

All three generals were classmates at the Philippine Military Academy and members of the PMA “Sandiwa” Class of 1985. (Miriam P. Aquino/PIA-1, La Union)