Aquino confirms, but can’t accept yet, Espina resignation
President Benigno Aquino III on Friday confirmed that Philippine National Police (PNP) officer in charge Leonardo Espina has submitted his resignation letter.
However, he said he cannot accept it until he has appointed a replacement.
“He did submit his resignation and the acceptance is pending on selecting his replacement,” Aquino said during an interview in Tarlac City.
The President said Espina is no longer in the running for the PNP chief position because appointing him a few months before his retirement will be disruptive.
“Is he still in the running? That’s the point. He assumes today, he has about three months to serve. Once he serves the three months, there will be a turnover to the next guy, who replaces him, and that’s disruptive to the service,’’ he said.
“The issue is, what can he actually do in that short period of time, and the downside is, the organization will have to reacclimatize itself to two director generals in the same year,’’ he added.
Espina stepped in as PNP OIC in December last year when Director General Alan Purisima was suspended by the Ombudsman for his involvement in an allegedly anomalous transaction with a courier service. Purisima later resigned after he was accused of directing the botched Mamasapano operation despite his suspension.
During the last couple of days, the PNP has refused to confirm whether Espina has indeed resigned. Sources, however, told INQUIRER.net that Espina wanted the President to exercise his prerogative in appointing an acting PNP chief.
Aquino said interviews and checks on the candidates are already being conducted. However, he clarified that the new PNP head will most likely be appointed by the end of 2015 or early 2016.
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