LINGAYEN -- After retired general, now congressman of the second district, Leopoldo Bataoil, another Pangasinense, was given the privilege to be the information officer of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Police Senior Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr. of this town was recently appointed to the post once held by Bataoil under three PNP chiefs.

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In a text message, Bataoil said: “The appointment of Jun Cruz as the PNP’s chief PIO and spokesman is a very positive development. Being a Pangasinense, I am very proud of him. Soon we will have another star rank officer who hails from Pangasinan.”

Cruz, on the other hand, said he is happy and honored with the trust given to him by PNP Director General Jesus Verzosa.

He said he will give his best in the performance of his new role as he did in his past assignments.

Cruz is a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Batch 1982. For a while, he served as information officer and chief of the Police Community Relations branch of the Pangasinan Police Provincial Office and as chief of the Provincial Intelligence branch.

Among his assignments later were as deputy of Bataoil at the Directorate for Police Community Relations (DPCR) and at the Police Community Relations Group (PCRG). In between his assignments at the said units, he served as police provincial director of Occidental Mindoro.

Cruz succeeded Police Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina who was designated as chief of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) replacing Police Chief Supt. Orlando Mabutas.

Mabutas was earlier assigned as regional director of the Police Regional Office 1 (PRO1). He took the reign from Police Chief Superintendent Manuel Cachero who served as Acting Regional Director after the retirement from the police service of former PRO1 Director Constante Azares Jr. last June 22. (Liway C. Manantan-Yparraguirre)