MANILA, Philippines–Philippine National Police chief, Director General Nicanor Bartolome, said Wednesday he is “open” to the recommendation of President Benigno Aquino III to put him under “non-duty status.”
“I am open to the idea. Whatever the President desires, I will follow,” Bartolome told reporters in reply to Aquino’s pronouncement that he is pondering on putting Bartolome on “non-duty status” to allow for his early replacement and smooth preparations for next year’s midterm election.
Bartolome said he has always been consistent with his statements where he said that he will serve “at the pleasure of the President,” being a member of team of the commander in chief.
“My service in the force started in 1980. That’s long enough. I have a few months left in the PNP and I don’t think there will be a problem,” he said.
When asked about his preference between non-duty status and early retirement, Bartolome said he has yet to discuss the matter with the President, as well as the topic on whoever will likely be the next chief of the PNP.
Bartolome explained that a non-duty status means that he will stop performing his duties as PNP chief as he waits for his retirement in March.
“There are many reasons and intervening events to consider. I look at it positively,” he said, adding that he doesn’t want “to be among the things that Aquino should worry about . . . I should be part of the solution.”
“If there were no elections I won’t be considered for NDS [non-duty status]. It happens that we will be having one,” Bartolome said.
In earlier reports, Aquino was quoted as saying that he will talk to Bartolome about leaving the PNP’s top post early, probably in November or December.