GMA names Razon as new PNP chief

PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal Arroyo yesterday announced the appointment of Avelino Razon as the next police chief succeeding Oscar Calderon, who steps down on Oct. 1 when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56.

She made the announcement in Iligan City in a meeting with community and business leaders to discuss government efforts to secure the country’s economic gains.

“Avelino ‘Sonny’ Razon Jr. will be the chief of the National Police starting October first,” Mrs. Arroyo said.

Razon thanked the President for appointing him.

“We shall intensify the services of [the National Police] to our citizens so they will be more responsive to their needs,” Razon told a radio interview after learning about his appointment.

“We will increase police visibility and accessibility,” he said.

Razon is now the deputy chief for administration, the second highest police position. He was a classmate of Armed Forces Chief Hermogenes Esperon Jr. at the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1974.

Razon served twice as head of the Western Police District, now the Manila Police District, and director of the National Capital Region Police Office.

He said his first marching order would be to deploy 90 percent of all policemen to the field, leaving the rest to do administrative work.

He would also reorganize the force as a result of the vacancies to be brought about by other retiring police officials this year.

“It’s going to be a natural succession and not a revamp. We will only fill the positions vacated by those retiring,” Razon said.

“I thank our President for the trust she has given me to serve. This is a challenge to increase police services to the people,” he said.

A police source said Razon’s main rival for the top police post, National Capital Region Police Office chief Reynaldo Varilla, would be promoted to the no. 3 post

“General Varilla will be appointed as the new chief of the Directorate for Operations, the no. 3 post at Camp Crame,” said the source who asked not be identified.

Varilla was also a classmate of Razon at the PMA Class of 1974. He will replace operations chief Jesus Verzosa, who is moving up to replace Razon as head of the Directorate for Administration.