Written by: NUP Merlie A. Dacunos
“I played jolens, sling shots, bato lata, these were the games that formed my love for sports”. When I was in high school I excelled in marathon and track and field making me the representative of my school for provincial meets.
This was the conversation that flowed during our informal interview. Amidst the blowing wind and rain in the PC Hills quarters I intently listened to the life story of the man who led Police Regional Office 7.
It has been my passion to document and bring to life the stories and accomplishments of police officers and the leaders of PRO7. Listening and humanizing their life inspires the regular Juan and Juana.
“I believed in persistence and discipline, this has fuelled my passion to become an athlete and an accomplished man in uniform”. My life was not a bed or roses, I experienced lining up for promissory notes to be able to take exams but this has not side-tracked me to attain my goals.
POLICE BRIGADIER GENERAL ALBERT IGNATIUS D FERRO’s humble beginnings as a young lad allowed him to experience a well-rounded life, from playing in the farm, playing basketball 3×3, marathon and track and field athlete to a man who leads the police force of Region 7.
His foundations and values started with his public school teacher parents who sent him to a Jesuit school which imbibed the value of men for others.
In college he initially took Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at the University of Nueva Ceceres. As the eldest among six (6) siblings he wanted to support his family, seeing the opportunity of a full scholarship with a salary at the Philippine Military Academy and this is where it all began.
Fuelled with passion to make a difference in the life of others and the ordinary people who cannot fight for themselves, he embarked on a colourful and meaningful career in the Philippine National Police.
Assigned in the special units of the PNP, PBGEN FERRO made waves by accomplishing astounding career changing paths for himself which made him the person he is today. Leading him to be meritoriously promoted thrice (spot promotion).
A pivotal point in his career was when he uncovered the 1994 blueprint and plot of the World Trade Center bombing in New York, U.S.A. PBGEN ALBERT IGNATIUS D FERRO was a principal witness in the trial of Ramzi Yousef which led to his conviction of 240 years in prison. The young Major Ferro was praised by President Bill Clinton thru a communication to President Fidel V Ramos for his bravery and candour all throughout the court proceedings.
As a well-rounded officer he has been assigned to lead the Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG), First Chief of Philippine Bomb Data Center, Provincial Director, Compostela Valley PPO, Regional Chief of RCIDU 11 and 12,RC Regional Maritime Unit 5, Intel Officer of the Joint Task Force On-Anti-Kidnapping (TF Tabang), Deputy Chief for Special Operations Group, joined the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) and many more positions which added up to his capability as a leader.
Being the chosen leader to head PRO7 has brought the journey closer to where his skills as an intelligence officer has uncovered the prime suspect of the World Trade Center bombing. It can be recalled that the Bojinka plot which orchestrated to assassinate Pope John Paul II when he visited the Philippines to plant bombs in commercial flights. Ramzi Yousef planted a bomb in PAL Flight 434 from Manila to Japan, the flight made a lay-over in Cebu but the bomb exploded near Tokyo, which killed a Japanese businessman.
On February 6, 2020 PBGEN ALBERT IGNATIUS D FERRO was placed as the new Regional Director of PRO7. His arrival in Central Visayas was at the height of the pandemic. He was beset with an enemy that is unseen and novel.
With the new leadership he was thrown a challenge that is insurmountable yet this enormous obstacle was fought with tenacity coupled with strategies and prayers.
For eight months the Amigo cops fought relentlessly against the deadly COVID-19 through implementation of strict quarantine and health protocols.
The father of PRO7 had to fight with a strategy to address with the high turn-out of personnel afflicted with the virus. Thus i5 came into being which are Inform, Identify, Isolate, Intervention and Integration. This formula worked along with the Makatao Malasakit Program which includes donation of blood plasma to help others who are suffering to recover from critical sickness.
He instituted that everyone in Central Visays will be active contributors in defeating the foe by adhering to health protocols and undergoing a program to be certified contact tracers. Central Visayas has a 90.4% completion of the John Hopkins University Contact Tracing Course which doesn’t include new recruits, newly assigned/transferred personnel and under localization.
To this date the Amigo cops are benefiting the gains of the strategy implemented by the regional director abiding by the IATF guidelines. The lockdowns are lifted and everyone is observing the minimum health protocols to prevent the regression of infection.
He holds the tight reins in leading the men and women of PRO7 despite the challenges of the pandemic. The people in Central Visays continue to enjoy a peaceful community through its various campaigns to account for criminals notwithstanding the presence of COVID-19.
This pandemic has given Papa Bert ample time to spend with his grandchildren and family. According to him he was able to cover-up for lost times through long talks and confinement in the PC Hills quarters due to limited movement of the quarantine.
PBGEN FERRO is ably supported by his wife Mae who is also active in the activities of PRO7 through the different outreach activities in the community.
Cebu and the rest of Central Visayas continues to enjoy freedom to do business and the recovery of its economy because of the swift and apt implementation of the quarantine protocols were followed.
PBGEN ALBERT IGNATIUS D FERRO came to Central Visayas to crumble criminality and the unseen foe! Mabuhi Ka!