Aquino apologizes for delay in appointment of new PNP chief
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III apologized on Thursday for taking a long time in appointing the new Philippine National Police chief to replace dismissed Director General Alan Purisima.
“Gusto kong humingi ng paumanhin sa lahat ng naghintay nang pagkatagal-tagal sa pagtatalaga natin ng bagong chief ng PNP,” Aquino said in a speech during the change of command ceremony at Camp Crame.
(I want to apologize to everyone who waited so long for a PNP chief to be chosen.)
Aquino led the turnover of leadership in the PNP from officer in charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina to the chief Director General Ricardo Marquez.
But apparently, appointing a PNP chief in July was still too early for Aquino as he revealed that the original plan was to change the leadership in the PNP between November and December this year.
But he said they had to speed up the appointment with Purisima’s suspension and eventually the latter’s resignation. “Sa pag-alis ni General Purisima, na napabilis pa dahil sa kanyang suspension, maski tayo nalagay sa ’di pangkaraniwang sitwasyon,” he said.
After Purisima resigned in February at the height of the Mamasapano controversy, he was ordered dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman for his alleged involvement in the P100-million questionable deal with a private gun courier service firm in 2011.
The President also disclosed that he had been considering a police official, whom he did not name, for the top PNP post but the official chose not to contend for the position.
“‘Yung isa sa kakilala nating posibleng mapili para sa posisyon, di na pala pupuwede dahil ’di na siya kabilang sa mga nagko-contend sa posisyong ito,” said Aquino.
It took seven months for the President to look for a replacement for Purisima – his known bosom buddy. While the PNP had no permanent chief, Espina stood as the leader of the 160,000-strong organization but in an acting capacity.
On Tuesday, Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II finally announced that Aquino had chosen Marquez to take over the helm of the PNP. Just days after Roxas’ announcement, Espina was given retirement honors. On the same day, Espina relinquished his post as OIC and passed the command to Marquez.
Mudslinging in PNP
While in the process of choosing who to appoint, Aquino said he had learned that some senior officials in the PNP were throwing mud at each other amid the search for the PNP chief.
He said he needed to investigate these rumors as he did not know these officials personally.
“Ang naging malinaw po rito, ‘yung pagbabatuhan ng putik, sintomas ng isang mas malaking problema sa ating kapulisan. Tila nga po may mga kampo-kampo sa loob ng ating kapulisan: May pulis na bata ni ganito, may pulis na bata ni ganyan. Ang pananaw po natin: Bilang pulis, bata ka dapat ng sambayanang Pilipino; tropa ka dapat ng taumbayan,” he said.
In his meeting with Marquez last Monday, the President said he had directed the new chief to address the reported factions existing among police officials and mold a “stronger and more united” PNP.
Marquez, a member of Philippine Military Academy class of 1982, was selected among five contenders in the race for the post.
Other contenders for the post were Deputy Director General Danilo Constantino, chief of the directorial staff; Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo, deputy PNP chief for operations; dismissed Chief Superintendent Raul Petrasanta; Police Director Benjamin Magalong, Crime Investigation and Detection Group chief; and Police Director Juanito Vaño, directorate for logistics head.
He also wanted Marquez to ensure that there would be clean and peaceful elections in 2016.
“Ang punto ko po sa kanya: Pareho na kaming paretiro, at mauuna lang ako nang kaunti; kailangan niyang hubugin ang isang mas buo at mas matatag na PNP, kasabay ng pagtiyak sa isang malinis at matiwasay na halalan sa 2016,” said Aquino.
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