Bartolome ready to retire earlyBy Marlon Ramos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
SO BE IT.
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome on Wednesday said he was ready to bow out of the service before his scheduled retirement next year “if that would help in our overall preparation for the elections.”
In a radio interview, Bartolome clarified that he has yet to receive any order from President Benigno Aquino III directing him to step down ahead of his retirement on March 6, 2013.
“If that would help in our overall preparation for the (2013) elections and in improving our security, I don’t see any problem with that,” Bartolome said when asked if he was ready to file for an early retirement.
Talks of the PNP chief’s possible early exit from the police service resurfaced on Tuesday after Interior Secretary Mar Roxas told reporters of the President’s preference to have an earlier change in the PNP leadership since Bartolome’s retirement falls right in the middle of the campaign period for the 2013 midterm polls.
During his visit to Vladivostok, Russia, in September, Aquino said he had “asked Bartolome to consider to resign earlier” and replace resigned Interior Undersecretary Rico E. Puno.
The President said the PNP chief “will be given a different position to allow the next director general time to get a firm hold of the forces that are in the PNP to ensure that we have peaceful elections.”
However, Bartolome said the President did not talk to him regarding that possibility and join Roxas in the Department of the Interior and Local Government, which has administrative supervision of the PNP.
Asked if he was ready for another position in the government, he said: “I will just answer that if there’s really an order or formal offer because up to now, I have yet to get any.”
Meanwhile, two senior PNP officials considered as front-runners to the seat to be vacated by Bartolome were promoted Wednesday to the next higher rank.
Leonardo Espina, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office, was promoted to police director, the equivalent of a two-star general rank in the military.
On the other hand, Allan Purisima, the chief of the PNP directorial staff, was elevated to police deputy director general, a position similar to a three-star in the military.