PNP ‘respects’ Aquino despite remark on mudslinging officials
The Philippine National Police on Friday said it “respects” President Benigno Aquino III’s judgement despite his recent statement that police officials eyeing its top post have been slinging mud at each other.
“Well, that’s the President’s judgement. We respect the judgement of the President,” PNP spokesperson Senior Superintendent Bartolome Tobias told media. “We leave it to the President since he has the widest discretion to choose and appoint the PNP chief.”
In an exclusive interview with Bombo Radyo on Wednesday, Aquino insinuated that some PNP officials had been denigrating each other since the top PNP post was left vacant.
After mentioning that former PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima was set to retire in December, Aquino said, “Kadalasan mainit sa PNP. Kapag merong natutunugan na papalit, kayo sa Bombo, palagay parati kayong pinapadalhan ng kung anu-anong panira sa isa’t isa.”
(The situation is usually tense at the PNP. When they get reports that someone will be promoted, perhaps the same in your company, you are often sent materials criticizing each other.)
Since Purisima, who was suspended in December last year over corruption allegations, resigned as PNP chief in February, Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina acted as the officer in charge of the 150,000-strong organization.
Aquino also apologized for the delay in the appointment of PNP chief since he has yet to finish “two to three consultations.”
“To give a fair chance to everybody, gusto ko namang manigurado na ‘yung i-a-appoint natin ay ‘yung biktima lang ba ng tsismis o talagang may base itong mga reklamong ito, dahil hindi biro ‘yung puwestong ‘yan, lalo na dahil may eleksyon tayo next year na napakaimportante ‘nung chief PNP na mapangalagaan ‘yung katahimikan sa buong bansa. So mabuti nang sigurado kaysa magsisi,” Aquino said.
(To give fair chance to everybody, I want to make sure if the person we will appoint is a victim of nasty rumors or if it has basis because this position is not a joke, especially since the election is next year and the chief PNP plays an important role in ensuring peace and order in the country.)
Among the reported contenders for the top PNP post are Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr., deputy PNP chief for operations, Chief Superintendent Raul Petrasanta, suspended Cental Luzon police regional director, and Police Director Juanito Vano, head of the Directorate for Logistics.
But the PNP spokesperson denied that the three were already in the shortlist, saying any senior officers down to the rank of Chief Superintendent could be selected as PNP chief under Section 31 of Republic Act 6975, or the Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990.
While the PNP remains headless, Tobias said the public should not worry since Espina has been granted additional powers “almost the same as the PNP chief’s.”
Aside from the President, the National Police Commission can also recommend names of senior police officials who are qualified to take over as PNP chief.
Despite having the power to recommend, Tobias said the President could still appoint PNP’s top cop without Napolcom’s recommendation.
“It doesn’t compel or bind the appointing authority to select Napolcom’s recommended official. The law itself says that the President has the widest discretion to appoint,” he said. KS