Comelec: Change in PNP leader OK
No complications are expected during the 2013 midterm elections should Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Nicanor Bartolome leave his post on the day of his mandatory retirement next year, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said Monday.
Presiding over the first joint PNP-Comelec conference at Camp Crame, Brillantes said the poll body was pleased with the initial security plans PNP Task Force SAFE (Secure and Fair Elections), led by Deputy Director General Alan Purisima, had mapped out for the May elections.
“The PNP is well organized. I can see that they are totally prepared for the elections in 2013,” the poll chief said in a news briefing.
He expressed confidence the PNP would be able to address security concerns even with a change in the leadership of the 148,000-member force during the election period.
“Whoever will take over, we will have no problem with that … that is actually a secondary issue,” Brillantes told reporters.
“It reflects on the viability of the organization. We can see that it’s not also a concern for the PNP who gets the top post,” he added.
President Aquino had made known his preference that Bartolome step down ahead of his scheduled retirement on March 16, 2013, which falls in the middle of the campaign period.
Mr. Aquino had also admitted that he wanted Purisima, a member of the Presidential Security Group during the term of his mother, the late President Corazon Aquino, to succeed Bartolome.
Brillantes said the responsibility of ensuring the peace during the elections was not the sole duty of the sitting PNP chief.
“Just like in the Comelec, I do not handle all the functions as head of office. It’s also like that in the PNP,” he said.
“We all know the revamp in the PNP is just like the change of leaders in any other government agency which follows (a certain process). If anybody would take over the PNP … we will still coordinate with them.”
The President reportedly wants to name Purisima as Bartolome’s replacement before the prohibition period on the appointment of government executives during elections.