By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan
MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. will end his eight-month “roller coaster” stint on Monday as he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56.
He said he still has some unfinished businesses but overall, he is grateful for the opportunity to serve.
“While I am excited for what the future holds, I cannot help but feel a sense of nostalgia and gratitude for the past 34 years I have dedicated to this noble profession,” Azurin told reporters after the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) honored him with a testimonial parade at Fort Del Pilar in Baguio City on Saturday.
He is a member of the PMA “Makatao” class of 1989.
“Like a roller coaster. Most of the time down, but we were able to recover,” Azurin said of his stint as top cop.
He attributed the PNP’s milestone achievements, particularly in the continuing battle against illegal drugs, to the combined efforts of the police force.
“We value the preservation of life. And we do not need to threaten criminals because the guidance of our President is very clear, to make this country a safe place whether they are inside or outside of their home,” he said.
He will step down amid the investigation into the alleged involvement of some police officials, including generals, in the 990 kilos of shabu seized from the Drug Enforcement Group’s Master Sgt. Rodolfo Mayor Jr. during a buy bust in Manila in October last year.
He maintained that there was no massive cover-up as alleged by Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos.
He said they were able to unmask the syndicates in the PNP.
“So all I wish now for the PNP is to decide if it wants to continue our fight against illegal drugs,” he said.
As chief, he said he took care of the welfare of the PNP members whom he considered as the most valuable.
“When we were still cadets, we were always told that if you take care of your people, then definitely they will take care of you. That’s the legacy that I would leave behind,” he said.
Azurin thanked the PMA administration under Lt. Gen. Rowen Tolentino for recognizing his service to the country.
He urged the cadets to continue to uphold the PMA values of courage, integrity, and loyalty.
“Get motivated by challenges and be inspired of everyone’s achievements. You are the future of our nation, and I have no doubt that someday you will make us all proud,” he said.
By Monday, he said he will start to recover lost time with his family.
“May mga unfinished business pa tayo rito (We still have unfinished businesses here) and we expect there are certain things na haharapin din natin (that I will face),” Azurin said.
He was appointed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. as the PNP’s 28th chief in August last year.
His successor has yet to be named. (PNA)