Carlos: PNP ready to continue poll duty ‘whether I retire or get extended’
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) Gen. Dionardo Carlos has assured the public that the police is prepared to continue its tasks for the 2022 national election regardless if he steps down from his post or if his term is extended.
Carlos, who is expected to retire on May 8 — his 56th birthday which qualifies him for the mandatory retirement age — said during an ambush interview on Monday that they have already prepared plans to ensure a smooth transition come election time.
The incumbent PNP chief’s retirement date is just a day before the elections, which happens next Monday, May 9.
“Kami kasi dito sa PNP, we make the plans already, sila ‘yan eh, sa TCDS (The Chief of the Directorial Staff) office ‘yan eh, so I let them do their job. On my part I just follow the policies, sabi ko nga highly-compliant ako eh — number one I follow orders […] of the Commander-in-Chief. I follow orders of the SILG (Secretary of Interior and Local Government), my command line,” Carlos said.
“So I follow the policies, rules of the Philippine National Police. So all of these are based on, may reference, so if you see some documents, it’s based on the preparation by the TCDS,” he added.
Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao is currently the head of the TCDS.
Carlos said that one good example is the retirement of Lt. Gen. Ferdinand Divina, who currently is the deputy chief for operations. With Divina out, Carlos said that they have prepared the official who would replace Divina to ensure that he can continue his job.
Carlos said that they have not seen any loopholes or any problems that may arise during the election day itself — because they have checked all possibilities.
Past elections in the country have been generally peaceful, but the Philippines has a long record of election-related violence — like the 2009 Maguindanao massacre where journalists, kin of politicians, and even women were killed due to political rivalry.
A convoy composed of media workers and relatives of now-Maguindanao 2nd District Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu was supposedly on the way to a Comelec office to formalize his gubernatorial bid when they were ambushed by armed men.
Members of the rival Ampatuan clan including former Datu Unsay mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. were convicted last December 2019 for the incident.
As early as September 2021, there were reports of attacks believed to be motivated by the elections, including a grenade-throwing incident at the ancestral home of Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez.
No one was harmed after the grenade did not explode.
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