TWO days from now, Police Regional Office 6 director, Brigadier General John C. Bulalacao will retire after scoring a remarkable feat as head of the Western Visayas police force where he became known for his full support to his men in distress while going after lawless elements and rogues in uniform without fear or favor.
A member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Maringal’ Class of 1988 who was the Philippine National Police spokesman before he was designated as PRO6 director by PNP chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde more than a year ago, Bulalacao made sure he will carve his name in the hearts and minds of the Western Visayas police force and its residents.
Known for his good character and unbroken will to reward the good and punish the bad ones, Bulalacao will be returning to his family after seeing to it that just what his name means, he literally will mean positive vibes and good luck for anyone who happens to gaze upon him and a bad omen to those who violate the law.
During the past 12 months, he made sure that his stint as PRO6 director will be marked by remarkable accomplishments and legacy projects in the region.
One of his most notable accomplishments is the disbanding of the untouchable Salcedo Group in Sara, Iloilo which gained notoriety for their various criminal activities and involvement in illegal drug trade.
On October 17, 2018, PRO6 agents served a search warrant for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition against their targets Noel and Nerio Salcedo which led in the killing of Nerio and the confiscation of a cache of high-powered guns and ammunition.
Bulalacao also endeared himself forever to the entire PRO6 personnel when he expressed outrage and condemnation against the influential (Iloilo 1st District) Representative Richard Garin and his father, Guimbal Mayor Oscar Garin after they mauled and spat on a local cop identified as Staff Sergeant Federico Macaya at gunpoint on December 26 last year.
The incident triggered the cancellation of all gun permits issued to the two officials who were also stripped of their police bodyguards. Bulalacao showed his full support to Macaya as he ordered the immediate pullout of all police escorts given to the two politicians and the filing of criminal and administrative charges against them,
“I could not bear how he degraded and humiliated our uniform and our profession as police officers. I could not ignore how a lowly PNP personnel in uniform was mauled helplessly” Bulalacao said.
During the recent May national and local elections, Bulalacao likewise made sure there will be peaceful polls in the region as he ordered a close watch against vote-buying activities in the region.
He disregarded the harassment and ignored the scathing statements of local politicians in order to ensure an honest and clean conduct of the 2019 elections. He ordered the arrest of 28 persons involved during 17 operations against vote-buying which led in the seizure of P159,890 in different denominations and the filing of five cases in court.
The Ilonggos’ question today is who will replace Bulalacao? They are seeking the answer since they are looking for another official who will be as good or if not better than Bulalacao, the official who pushed organizational discipline, unit integrity and individual reform in the 12,000-strong Western Visayas police force in June 2018 apart from sustaining the gains made by his predecessor, now Major General Cesar R. Binag Jr.
From June 2018 to date, the crime volume in the region drastically went down specially incidents of theft, physical injury and carnapping.
Complying with the focus of the current administration on the campaign against illegal drugs, the region police conducted a total of 1,664 positive anti-narcotics operations which led in the arrest of 2,337 personalities and the filing of 654 cases in court.
He also launched the unique PRO6 Tokhang Kontra Guinadili-an nga Pusil (TKGP) which is a campaign against loose firearms patterned after the PNP Oplan: Tokhang.
Under Bulalacao, the PRO6 also arrested 16 top New People’s Army personalities and launched operations which led in the killing of seven rebels who yielded explosives, firearms and electronic gadgets and documents detailing their activities.