THE Davao Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) now has a new chief as retired general Benito de Leon retired from the post effective September 1.
De Leon formally announced his retirement on Monday, September 2, after three years in service, to spend time with his family.
In his speech, he said his "time has come" to pass the position to his successor, then-PSSCC deputy head Angel Sumagaysay, as he retired from public service effective September 1.
"After 39 years of military service, I never had the chance to attend to my own family. I promised them when I retire, I will focus on them, because I had so many plans when I retire," De Leon told reporters.
Prior to his appointment as PSSCC head, De Leon served as a chief of staff of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division in Davao City and commander of Task Force General Santos. He retired from military service in March 2016.
Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio appointed De Leon as PSSCC head on September 5, 2016, three days after the Roxas Night Market bombing, which killed 14 people and 67 injured others.
De Leon said he accepted the mayor's appointment to help secure Davao City from lawless elements.
He said the strengthening of the coordination of all safety and security forces in the city was his greatest achievement during his tenure.
He also said that he already made some recommendations to Sumagaysay, which need to be implemented and improve.
"One of it is the upgrading of the system. We know that we were ahead in putting up the Intelligence Operations Center here in the country back in 2012. But the system needs to be updated in tune with the changing times," De Leon said.
He also proposed for the institutionalization of the PSSCC, which is currently under the Office of the City Mayor.
Sumagaysay, meanwhile, said he will be pushing for the center’s institutionalization, adding that he had already communicated with Councilor Mabel Sunga Acosta, City Council chair on peace and order committee, who already passed the proposal on first reading.
He said having the office departmentalized will stabilize the position of the employees, wherein most of them are contractuals.
De Leon, meanwhile, reminded the public to practice the "Culture of Security" wherein they should cooperate in monitoring any suspicious lawless elements in the city.
"They should not be too dependent on the government for the rescue or support services. Dapat meron na silang sariling kusa (They should have the initiative) to take care of their own," De Leon said.