A KNOWN disciplinarian who has incurred the ire of rogues and the undisciplined in the police service but in the process earned the respect and admiration of the Philippine National Police leadership led by Director General Oscar D. Albayalde, a PNP Academy graduate named Christopher E. Tambungan is one of the latest one-star police generals in the 190,000-strong police organization.
Last November 14, newly-promoted Chief Superintendent Tambungan took his oath of office before Gen. Albayalde at the PNP Star Lounge in Camp Crame. Present during the occasion was his wife Dr. Joselle and daughter Kryselle.
“The brightest star this Holiday Season won’t be the one atop our Christmas tree but perched on your shoulders. Congratulations for a long overdue and well-deserved promotion. We are so proud of you. To God be the glory,” said Dr. Tambungan, an OB-Gynecologist.
The new police general is also known for crime-busting and his fearless effort to track down wanted criminals. A few years ago, he bravely engaged and killed one of two motorcycle-riding robbers in a gunfight in Manila.
He was already a Senior Superintendent then and was off-duty when he accompanied his wife to a medical supply store in Sta. Cruz. While on their way to their car, the armed robbers attacked Dr. Tambungan not knowing that the man walking beside her is a police officer. Tambungan came to the rescue of his wife and engaged the thieves in a shootout killing one of them on the spot, no small feat for a senior police officer.
Tambungan’s effort to fully enforce the PNP’s “character aptitude development training” has been criticized by some who continue to refuse to embrace the ongoing police’s transformation program aimed at addressing the presence of misfits and undisciplined, many of whom he had castigated in front of their colleagues for misbehavior and questionable attitude.
When he was still the National Capital Region Police Office chief Gen. Albayalde became known for not hiding his admiration for Tambungan, noting how the officer had been criticized by many for his very strict disciplining of members of the police force.
The future PNP chief frequently mentioned the name of the member of PNPA Class 1987 during command conferences and visits to different NCRPO offices and stations saying how he wished he could have more ‘Tambungans” on the metropolitan police force.
Gen. Albayalde is speaking from his heart knowing the many reports and complaints about Tambungan’s way of disciplining members of the police force under his command and realizing that the complaints all came from those that experienced the latter’s own brand of discipline.
When he was still the Manila Police District Deputy Director for Administration, Tambungan became known for catching MPD personnel sleeping on duty and surreptitiously taking away their issued M-16 rifles.
He and Gen. Albayalde had the same principle: policemen on duty should not be sleeping which gives lawless elements all the opportunity to steal their weapons and kill them or other persons. Besides, they are supposed to stay awake while on duty at all times so that they can serve the public better.
While assigned to the MPD, Tambungan also became known for personally stopping policemen riding their motorcycles without any helmets. There were instances too when he ordered the filing of charges against cops driving their motorbikes without a driver’s license.