Chief Supt. Mariel Magaway is the new police director

CAMP RUPERTO KANGLEON, PALO, Leyte- The more than 20,000 police force of the region will have their new regional director after their incumbent leader, Chief Supt. Gilberto Cruz, formally bowed out from his post he held for nine months on Monday (June 4).
Cruz, who assumed his post August 31,2017, will be replaced by Chief Supt. Mariel Magaway, who is the current chief of the intelligence command of the national PNP.
Cruz, who received his relief order on June 1, will be assigned as the deputy chief of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations-Eastern Mindanao based at Camp Crame.
The former regional police director asked the police force of the region to also give the same trust and confidence that they gave him to Chief Supt. Magaway.
The change of command of PNP-8 leadership is part of a reshuffle among top regional officials initiated by PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde.
Magaway was not around during the change of command program held at the grounds of Camp Ruperto Kangleon, the regional PNP-8 headquarters, this town.
Cruz said that while he welcomes his new appointment, he will also miss Eastern Visayas.
“Medyo malungkot. Mami-miss mo ang samahan sa kapulisan, yung adventures and journey that we went through together,” he said during an interview after the turn over ceremony.
But he was happy that during his nine-month stay in the region, Cruz said that he had accomplished so many things.
For one, he said, it was under his watch that three of the six provinces of the region were declared as drug-cleared, namely, Southern Leyte, Biliran, and Northern Samar and four of its seven cities were also declared as such, namely, Tacloban, Ormoc, Baybay and Maasin.
About 97 percent of the region’s 4, 390 barangays were also declared as drug-free under his watch, he said.
Cruz is also known as an environmentalist as he led several operations against illegal logging activities in the region.
Before he bow out from the region, he led in the blessing of the 30-feet image of Crucified Jesus Christ which he dubbed as “Environmental Jesus’ located right inside the PNP regional headquarters.
The image is made of scrap materials like confiscated chain saws and firearms, among others.
Cruz said that he hope that the image, made by Lucky Salayog, will symbolize fight against environment destruction.
During the fourth anniversary of destruction of super typhoon ‘Yolanda’last year, Cruz also initiated in the construction of the image of St.Medard, patron saint of protection against bad storms, located in Tanauan, Leyte.
He also supervised the most peaceful conduct of barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections in the region held last May 14.

By: Joey A. Gabieta/Lizbeth Ann A. Abella