By NITZ ARANCON
and BEN BALCE
Staff member .
DEATH came like a thief in the night for former police director for northern Mindanao Lyndel Desquitado.
Desquitado, who retired as chief superintendent in 2016, died of what his family members theorized as cardiac arrest at the JR Borja Memorial General Hospital at around 10 am yesterday. He just turned 59 last month.
His daughter Carmela Celyn said she remembered her father taking breakfast in their Xavier Estates home past 9 am, and then talking with someone over the phone.
She said the retired police general then collapsed, and he was then rushed to the city hall-run hospital which was the closest from their home.
Desquitado was already struggling for life on arrival at the hospital, and he subsequently died there.
Carmela Celyn said she and her family were still waiting for an official report on the exact cause of Desquitado’s death but she said it looked like a heart attack.
The soft-spoken and mild-mannered Desquitado was from Bantayan, Cebu, but he was considered an “adopted son” of this city where his wife Ma. Cecilia hails from.
Desquitado’s death came as a shock to many given that he was not known to be sickly.
“He [was] an officer of uncompromising integrity and sterling professionalism. I became his spokesperson and I never had a problem with his leadership. He [was] very approachable and easy to deal with. I felt bad that he is gone,” said Valencia city police director Surki Serenas, erstwhile Camp Alagar spokesman.
Desquitado had served as police director for Misamis Oriental in 2007, Misamis Occidental in 2003, and deputy police regional director for administration, operation and subsequently, chief of staff at Camp Alagar.
Desquitado, classified as a Career Executive Service Officer IV, had also held other key positions in the National Police like director of the 10th Police Regional Mobile Group, chief of Camp Alagar’s Regional Intelligence Division, chief of district directorial staff of the Eastern Police District in Pasig City, and deputy district director for operations of Northern Police District in Caloocan City.
Before being named police director for Region 10, Desquitado was a deputy director for human resource doctrine and development at Camp Crame.
Desquitado was a member of the Philippine Military Academy “Sandigan” Class of 1982.
Born on July 12, 1960, Desquitado was a decorated police officer — he received two Medalya ng Kadakilaan, three Medalya ng Pambihirang Paglilingkod, two Medalya ng Kagalingan, 18 Medalya ng Kasanayan, and 48 Medalya ng Papuri. He was also cited as the “Most Outstanding for Police Commissioned Officer for Operations” of Camp Alagar in 2003.
The military company that he led in the National Police’s precursor, Philippine Constabulary, bagged the “Best PC Company of the Year” award in 1985.
Desquitado was a product of the Bantayan Elementary School and the St. Paul Academy in Cebu where he was salutatorian and valedictorian, respectively. He held a master’s degree in public administration from the Misamis University in Ozamiz City.
Desquitado is survived by his wife Ma. Cecilia and daughters Carmela Celyn and Lyselle, and son Glenn Dale.