When asked how one should accept the challenge of greatness, then Police Deputy General Ricardo de Leon quoted William Shakespeare, thus, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” This was how Dick de Leon described his transition from the uniformed service to the academe.
His appointment as the President of the Mindanao State University (MSU) is unprecedented, being the first Cavalier to be appointed as President of a State University. His arrival at the university was met with opposition and skepticism, wondering what a retired three-star general could possibly offer to a struggling university. To address this concern he launched on June 21, 2006 MSU Vision 2020 anchored on ten imperatives, thus: academic excellence; use of Information and Communication Technology: expansion of investment opportunities; promote a culture of peace; revitalize a challenging learning environment on campus; interlink community and global connections; sensitivity to eco-cultural heritage; commitment to inter-regional and cross-border education and good governance. With Dick’s efforts, MSU was able to carve its own niche as a Peace University. For this, Dick was awarded the title Prince of Peace in Mindanao. Dick de Leon endeared himself with the university, the community and even local government officials earning him the moniker “Daddy Pres.”
Dick was President of MSU from September 2005 to January 2008.
Five years later, from September 2013 to April 2014, he served as part of the Independent Commission on Policy (ICP) for Bangsamoro. As a member of the ICP, Dick recognizes the need for lasting peace and security supported by a police service that was representative of the community specifically as it relates to ethnicity, religion and culture of the Bangsamoro. The Bangsamoro Law has yet to be passed.
On April 2, 2014, Dick was appointed as President of the Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC). He immediately got started by mapping out the PPSC Vision 2020 which encapsulated the Ten-Point Strategic Goals of the College. It has been four years since the assumption of Dick and the PPSC is steadily reaching up to the full realization of its vision.
Proving that he is indeed a visionary, Dick already realized the importance and possibility of crafting a Homeland Strategy in 2015. He believes that in securing our homeland, there must be a strategy that must be founded on the theme of building up the country’s internal capacity and resiliency. Quoting Albert Einstein, he said; “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
Secretary Gregorio Honasan
Senator Panfilo Lacson
Ambassador Eduardo Kapunan
Police General(ret) Reynaldo Velasco
Colonel(ret) Melchior Acosta