IT WAS no ordinary change of command at the Police Regional Office (PRO)-Northern Mindanao on Tuesday, May 17.
A month after he was replaced by Police Chief Superintendent Jose Gentiles, Police Chief Superintendent Lyndel Desquitado is back at Camp first Lieutenant Vicente G. Alagar.
Successor/predecessor PRO10 director Gentiles admitted before police officials and the media that he was ‘initially hurt’ when he received his relief order on Monday, May 16.
Holding back tears, Gentiles narrated his ‘struggles’ in his career, joining official trips and even gatecrashing events with the aim of landing a regional director post.
In an almost two-hour speech, Gentiles disclosed that he once asked Director General Ricardo Marquez to assign him to the Central Visayas region but was told another officer was in the Chief PNP’s mind.
He was also ‘almost’ the police director of the Davao Region but the turnover of command was canceled abruptly adding that he was also offered an already occupied seat in Cebu.
“But I instead counted my blessings and slept well knowing the best gift I have was the gift of family,” he said adding that it came to a point when he gave up on his aim to be a regional director.
In April this year, Gentiles said he was shocked when he was instead offered as regional director of Northern Mindanao and even thought it was a joke.
“Sabi niya sa akin, ‘Bro, punta ka na sa Region 10,’ and I said paano si Lyndel?”
“Of course I said yes, I cannot say no. No instructions pa, sabi niya that I just do my best,” Gentiles said adding that he wanted to delete the order for Desquitado’s sake, who will be retiring next month.
But Gentiles said he never had a clear answer why the abrupt decision and only had to follow orders thus he immediately assumed office.
“The orders and situation is (sic) beyond my control” was the only answer Gentiles got from Marquez.
In his short time, Gentiles bared his accomplishments such as the peace and orderly elections and the safe rescue of the police officers held captive by rebels in April.
“Andami ko pa sanang plano. Nagplano na din ako na ako mag-host sa retiring ceremony ni Lyndel sa June,” he said.
But Gentiles said Marquez’s reason to assign Desquitado again in Northern Mindanao was for "restorative justice" and that Marquez wanted Desquitado to retire with dignity.
“I cannot question the reason, Lyndel does not deserve his relief but was only forced by circumstances occurring at that time,” he said.
It was different for Desquitado who accepted the relief order with no questions but admitted he was hurt and never expected for that to happen at the last months of his police career.
“He (Marquez) cannot even call me after that day happened, the past months has (sic) been a roller coaster for me. I never enjoyed my vacation in Tagaytay,” Desquitado said.
“I never prayed for this na babalik ako ditto, I am looking forward in my remaining 56 days as police officer. I will provide a transition team and lay the groundwork for the next administration,” Desquitado said.