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Who will get Aquino’s nod as new PNP chief?

/ 04:06 PM April 24, 2015

Contender-for-PNP

The Philippine National Police headquarters is abuzz with talks on who eventually will be appointed by President Aquino III to take over the helm of the 150,000-strong government security force.

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The suspension and resignation of Director General Alan Purisima has challenged the PNP leadership, maintaining regular operations with Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina as the officer in charge.

Names of senior police officials fitting to replace Purisima have cropped up. Some of the names surfaced for their ties with influential personalities, others for their years in the service.

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Would Mr. Aquino consider a PNP chief contender’s  political ties or his excellence in service?

PNP CHIEF CONTENDER #1

 

Chief Superintendent Raul D. Petrasanta

Philippine Military Academy class of 1984

Current position: Regional Director, Central Luzon Police – SUSPENDED

Chief Superintendent Raul Petrasanta

Chief Superintendent Raul Petrasanta

Ironic that the strongest contender for the top PNP post is currently suspended for allegedly selling government weapons to communist rebels.

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What makes Chief Superintendent Raul Petrasanta the “PNP chief in waiting” is his close ties with the presidential family. During the presidency of Aquino’s late mother, Petrasanta has been one of the trusted security aides of the Aquinos. He was also the former head of the Presidential Security Group unit assigned to the Aquino residence on Times Street in Quezon City.

Before he became the Central Luzon Police Regional Director, Petrasanta led the Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) of the PNP in 2012.

Months after he took the regional director position in September 2013, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group found him involved in the anomalous P52-million firearms deal with the New People’s Army rebels in Mindanao.

The CIDG tagged Petrasanta and 19 other PNP officers in the sale of 1,004 AK-47 assault rifles to communist rebels. These firearms were registered in the FEO during Petrasanta’s time.

In December 2014, Petrasanta, along with Purisima, was ordered suspended from service pending the Ombudsman’s investigation on allegations against them.

But some police officials and lawmakers believe that Aquino is only waiting for Petrasanta’s suspension to be lifted in June.

Citng a source, Antipolo Rep. Romeo Acop, a former police general, told the media that the President might appoint the next PNP chief “in July or August.”

Acop also said it was understandable that Aquino would pick someone whom he owes a debt of gratitude.

Significant positions held: 

Firearms and Explosives Unit chief – started as assistant in 2010, promoted to chief in June 2012, held office until 2013

Pasay City police chief – assumed office January 2009

Directorate for personnel and records management, chief of personnel plans and policies – assumed office September 2008

Masambong Station police chief under QCPD – assumed office November 2004

 

PNP CHIEF CONTENDER # 2:

 

Police Director Juanito B. Vaño Jr. 

Philippine Military Academy class of 1983

 

Current position: Director, Directorate for Logistics

Police Director Juanito Vaño

Police Director Juanito Vaño

Police Director Juanito Vaño has an equal chance of being appointed to the top PNP post being regarded as Purisima’s “protegé” and close friend.

Earlier media reports claimed that Purisima is pushing Vaño as his replacement allegedly to “protect his interests in the PNP” while he’s being investigated by the Ombudsman. This was denied by Purisima’s camp.

Aside from his connection with the President’s bosom buddy, Vaño may also be considered for his exemplary service during the Zamboanga siege in 2013 when he stood as the acting Regional Director of the Zamboanga Police Regional Office.

The bemedalled police officer also held sensitive positions in the National Capital Region Police Office in 2012 and Police Security Protection Group in 2009.

If it comes down to a choice between Vaño and Petrasanta, a high-ranking police official who declined to be named said he would choose Vaño over Aquino’s former security aide “in terms of character and capability.”

 

Significant positions held: 

Directorate for Logistics – August 2014

Zamboanga Police Regional Office acting Regional Director – assumed office December 2012

NCRPO Deputy Regional Director for operations – assumed office March 2012

Police Security Protection Group Deputy Director – assumed office October 2009

PNP CHIEF CONTENDER # 3

 

Deputy Director General Marcelo P. Garbo Jr.

Philippine Military Academy class of 1981

 

Current position: Deputy PNP Chief for Operations

Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr.

Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr.

Being the second man in the PNP hierarchy, Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr. could take the PNP chief’s post without breaking a sweat had not Vaño and Petrasanta entered the scene.

Technically, when Espina, who had offered his resignation to the President to give him a free hand in choosing the new chief, retires in July, Garbo will take command of the PNP if Mr. Aquino fails to appoint a PNP chief.

Garbo was known for standing his ground against Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, who holed up in her office despite a suspension order against her.

As the Central Visayas Regional Director, he also warned Garcia he would remove her by force if she wouldn’t leave her office.

Espina and Garbo are PMA classmates. But Espina will retire before Garbo, who will turn 56 in March 2016. The compulsory retirement age in the PNP is 56.

Significant positions held: 

Chief of directorial staff (PNP’s fourth in command) – assumed office December 2013

Acting NCRPO chief – assumed office March 2013

PRO7 Regional Director – assumed office September 2011

PNP CHIEF CONTENDER # 4

 

Police Director Ricardo C. Marquez

Philippine Military Academy class of 1982

 

Current position: Director, Directorate for Operations

Police Director Ricardo Marquez

Police Director Ricardo Marquez

Retiring three months after Aquino ends his six-year term in May 2016, Police Director Ricardo Marquez has the edge.

A feather in Marquez’s cap is the successful security operation to protect Pope Francis amid reported terror threats during his January visit to the Philippines.

Marquez led the Special Task Force “Papal Visit 2015” which had 25,000 policemen mobilized in areas where the Pope visited.

As the PNP operations chief, he prepared elaborate security plans for international events in the country including Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, World Economic Forum, and Asean Tourism Forum.

Significant positions held: 

PRO1 Regional Director – assumed office April 2013

Directorate for investigation and detective management Executive Officer – assumed office February 2011

PRO3 Nueva Ecija Provincial Director – assumed office August 1, 2008

PNP CHIEF CONTENDER # 5

 

Police Director Benjamin B. Magalong 

Philippine Military Academy class of 1982

 

Current position: Director, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group

Police Director Benjamin Magalong

Police Director Benjamin Magalong

If it were true that the President wants a PNP chief who would serve until he steps down, Police Director Benjamin definitely wouldn’t make the cut.

But even before the Mamasapano debacle and Purisima’s suspension, Magalong’s name had already floated for PNP chief post for his sterling performance as the CIDG director and Cordillera Police Regional Director.

Magalong was tasked to lead the seven-man Board of Inquiry composed of seasoned police officers that probed the deadly January 25 operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, that resulted in the deaths of 44 police commandos.

One of the pioneers of the elite Special Action Force, Magalong, who was then a battalion commander, led the team of SAF commandos that ended the standoff staged by detained Abu Sayyaf bandits at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City in March 2005.

 

Significant positions held: 

PROCOR Regional Director – assumed office December 2011

Directorate for police community relations Executive Officer – assumed office March 2011

Special Action Force intelligence Chief Directorial Staff – assumed office January 2006

SAF 1st SAB Commanding Officer – assumed office January 2001

PNP Anti-kidnapping group Task Force Commander – assumed office February 1997

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TAGS: Alan Purisima, Benjamin Magalong, Juanito Vaño, Mamasapano, Marcelo Garbo, PNP‎, PNP chief, Police, President Benigno Aquino III, Raul Petrasanta, Ricardo Marquez, suspension
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