Senator Lacson at DILG? PNP chief mumBy DJ Yap
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Nicanor Bartolome has refused to be drawn into intrigue over rumors that Sen. Panfilo Lacson might be the next interior secretary, a post with supervisory powers over the police.
Bartolome told reporters the 140,000-strong police force would accept whoever is designated to the position now held by Interior Secretary Jesse M. Robredo.
“The President has a decision to make… We will accept whatever is the decision of the President,” Bartolome said.
He said the PNP would continue to work closely with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), whether Robredo retains his post or Lacson, whose term will expire in 2013, is appointed.
Last week, President Aquino disclosed that he might invite Lacson and Sen. Francis Pangilinan, who are no longer eligible to run for reelection, to join his Cabinet but did not say to what position they would be appointed.
Lacson was PNP chief during the administration of deposed President Joseph Estrada. But Lacson later withdrew his support for Estrada at the height of the second People Power uprising that eventually toppled the latter who was accused of accepting payoffs from illegal gambling lords.
Asked about the matter last week, Robredo said he was not threatened by the rumors and made it clear that his tenure depended on President Aquino’s confidence in him.
“I know I am occupying a post of a casual employee,” he said.
Robredo, along with four other Cabinet members, has been repeatedly bypassed by the Commission on Appointments. He is expected to appear before the body when it resumes next month.