Saving the best for a guy named Chito Magnaye

November 13, 2018

I’M saving the best for the last and at the same time would like to offer my aplogies to an old-time friend, Senior Superintendent Luisito ‘Chito’ Magnaye whose name I failed to mention during my previous column regarding members of Philippine Military Academy ‘Sambisig’ Class of 1991.

Some of his mistahs called my attention shortly after my column appeared last Sunday, saying one of their classmates in the PNP is missing in that piece: a guy named Chito Magnaye prompting me to review a list of Peemayers from Class 1982-1992 given to me by the PNP Directorate for Personnel and Records Management in July 2016.

Indeed, that list inadvertently failed to mention Magnaye as among the members of PMA Class 1991. I only happened to know that his name was missing when his mistahs called my attention. My apologies my friend.

I merely relied on that PMAyers list and failed to check my phonebook. If I did, I surely won’t miss your name.  Blame it on the so-called age factor and am truly sorry I forgot the name of an officer who, a few months ago approached me and my family at the domestic airport and introduced his beautiful wife to us. They were on their way to the beautiful, sleepy Dipolog City then.

To right the wrong, I would say that as of July 2016, there were 22 members of PMA Class 1991 in the PNP- with one of them now a Chief Superintendent in the person of Filmore Escobal, the director of the Police Security and Protection Group. Another, newly-installed Manila Police District director Vic Danao Jr. is on his way to getting his star-rank soon.

Then, there were 20 other members of PMA Class 1991 apart from Danao and Escobal when that list was made by the PNP-DPRM and I hope it would be rectified soon. They are Senior Supts. Magnaye, Patrick Villacorte, Mike Dubria, Robert Rodriguez, Conrad Gongon, Jimili Macaraeg, Roque Vega, Benjie Acorda, Rommel Marbil, Jon Arnaldo, Tony Yarra, Neil ALinsangan, Richard dela Rosa, Armando de Leon, Emmanuel Peralta, Benjie Santos, Dario Gunabe, Honorio ‘Yoyong’ Agnila, Eduardo Chico and Allan Servida.

Another two members are surprise (don’t laugh)  senatorial candidates Jonathan ‘Balde’ Baldevarona, a former Highway Patrol Group officer and Metro Manila Development Authority Special Operations Group head Bong Nebrija, a retired Navy aviator who told me he really is a member of the PNP: short for Philippine Navy Pilot.

Magnaye is a seasoned police ground commander and investigator who used to be a crime-busting Angeles City Police Office director just like PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde.  He was also assigned with the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group where he was introduced to me by another friend, Senior Supt. Ato Bisnar of PMA Class 1990 before he became a Zamboanga City Police Office director where he led 11 police stations and one public safety company in battling criminality, terrorism, drug trafficking and abuse and corruption.

On October 30, 2016, Magnaye and his men foiled a planned bombing attempt by the extremist Abu Sayyaf Group in the city following the arrest of three suspects and the recovery of bomb materials in a local pension house. That operation thwarted what could be another major Abu Sayyaf bomb attack in the city, truly a feather on his cap.

As Zamboanga City police director, he also  led a massive campaign against illegal drug trafficking and abuse which led in the surrender of over 5,000 confessed drug personalities during the initial phase of the PNP Oplan: Tokhang. Magnaye also led a no-nonsense campaign against rogues in uniform which saw the immediate investigation and subsequent transfer of all local policemen who were tagged by President Duterte as ‘protectors’ of drug traffickers.

After serving under PNP Chief Directorial Staff and now PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, Deputy Director General Archie Gamboga, Magnaye last September returned to the elite PNP Special Action Force as its Executive Officer ,  a position which would eventually qualify him for the much-coveted star-rank. Hoping the best for this PMA 1991 member.