PNP-SouthCot has new director

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/27 January) — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has designated a former operations officer of a defunct anti-kidnapping unit as the new police director of South Cotabato Province.

Senior Supt. Jose Briones Jr., who previously headed the anti-kidnapping group and the Police Anti-Crime Emergency Response (PACER) unit in Mindanao, formally assumed on Monday as the new provincial police chief of South Cotabato in simple rites held in Koronadal City.

He replaced Senior Supt. Romeo Ver, who was reassigned to the office of the PNP Directorate for Intelligence at the national police headquarters in Camp Crame.
Ver, who took over the province’s top police post on March 23 last year, described the appointment of Briones as a positive development for the province.

Ver said Briones is a well-experienced and tested police officer who figured in major anti-crime campaigns and operations in the last several years.

The official said he expects local police personnel, local government officials and other stakeholders to give their full support and cooperation to Briones.

South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes said the local government earlier lobbied for the appointment of Briones to the province due to his vast experience and exceptional performance as former unit head of PACER.

She said her office had worked with Briones when he was assigned several years ago to lead the operations involving a kidnapping case in Sto. Nino town in South Cotabato.

“We scouted him, looked at his background and eventually decided that he is our best option as next provincial police chief,” she said.

The governor said he expects the new provincial police chief to focus on addressing cases of syndicated crimes in the province.

She specifically cited illegal gambling activities and the distribution of illegal drugs, specifically of metamphetamine hydrochloride within the province’s 10 towns and lone city.

“Special focus should also be given to petty crimes like theft and robbery that have become rampant again these days,” Fuentes added. (MindaNews)