Subject: Filipino cop to be named UN mission chief in East Timor

Filipino cop to be named UN mission chief in East Timor

By Veronica Uy, Associated Press Last updated 07:26pm (Mla time) 11/10/2006

(UPDATE) A FILIPINO police officer is set to be named the United Nations police commissioner for a new mission to East Timor, the Philippine Mission to the United Nations announced Friday.

In an e-mail from New York, Ambassador Lauro Baja Jr., the country's Permanent Representative to the UN, said the appointment of Director Rodolfo Tor makes him the first Filipino police officer to become commander of a major UN peacekeeping operation.

He will also be the second Filipino general to head a UN peacekeeping force, following former Army chief General Jaime De los Santos, who led the then UN Transitional Administration, also in East Timor, in 2000.

Baja said that as UN Integrated Mission in Timor Leste (UNMIT) police commissioner, Tor, 55, will oversee a force of more than 1,600 police officers from 11 countries, including the Philippines.

Tor, who is presently the Philippine National Police (PNP) director for plans, is expected to assume his post in Dili before the end of the month.

The ambassador said his office formally informed the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) that the Philippines has accepted its offer to name Tor to head the UNMIT.

"General Tor's designation as UNMIT police commissioner reaffirms the positive contribution of Filipino peacekeepers who have been in East Timor as part of the UN missions there since 1999," Baja said after the Philippine Mission informed the DPKO that it will make Tor available for UNMIT.

The UNMIT, the fifth UN mission in East Timor since 1999, was established by virtue of Security Council Resolution 1704.

It is a police-led mission created in response to the violent clashes between rival factions in the East Timor armed forces and national police several months ago. The clashes left one Filipino UN police officer seriously wounded.

Baja said UNMIT is a new, expanded operation to support the East Timorese government. The UN police, or UNPol, will provide interim law enforcement and support to East Timor's police force while it is being reconstituted.

As head of the Directorate for Plans, Tor oversaw the expansion of PNP participation in UN peacekeeping operations worldwide. He was also at the forefront of efforts to organize and deploy what would be the first Formed Police Unit that the Philippines would be contributing to future UN missions.

Tor has more than 36 years of police and military service in the fields of administration and management.

He is a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy and holds a degree in law, a master's degree in business administration, and a doctorate in peace and security administration.

At present, the Philippines is the top police-contributing country in Southeast Asia with a total of 219 officers deployed to UN missions in Afghanistan, Burundi, Cote d'Ivoire, Haiti, Liberia, Kosovo, Sudan, and Timor Leste.

Around 150 are deployed to Timor Leste. 

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