Marquez: PNP will be in good hands
LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines—Outgoing Philippine National Police chief Director General Ricardo Marquez said he would be leaving the PNP in good hands even as he defended the appointment of a lower-ranked police officer to lead the organization.
Marquez, in a press conference here on Thursday, said Chief Supt. Ronald dela Rosa, who presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte preferred to lead the PNP under his administration, is qualified to hold the position.
“Dela Rosa is a qualified and a well-trained police officer. The appointment of police generals [to head the PNP] is a regular occurrence [since the administration of President Fidel Ramos],” Marquez said.
Marquez himself was handpicked by President Aquino while he was holding the rank of director (equivalent of major general in the military) in July 2015, besting two senior officials who were considered for the post.
Republic Act No. 6975 (Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990) states that the president of the Philippines may select any senior officer, down to the rank of chief superintendent, to lead the PNP.
Dela Rosa, the tough-talking officer who is executive officer of the PNP Directorate for Human Resource and Doctrine Development, was selected by Duterte to be the next leader of the 120,000-strong police force under his administration.
Dela Rosa’s appointment would earn him a rank promotion to director general (four-star general in the military).
Marquez, who had announced that he will resign no later than July 1, is confident that he will be leaving the PNP in good hands.
He expressed satisfaction with the prospect of an increase in the salary and benefits that the Duterte administration would give policemen.
He said the proposed increase might help decrease cases of erring and abusive policemen.
“You will value your work; you will not involve yourself in any illegal activity and corruption,” he said.
Asked what he will do when he retires in August, Marquez said he would spend his time with his family.
“Change is coming, there is nothing to fear. Just continue to be faithful and loyal to the service,” he told the men and women of the Bicol regional police in Camp General Simeon Ola in Legazpi City.
Marquez said he would rather not speculate on whether the campaign promise of Duterte to stop crime and illegal drugs within six months would be realized.
“But I assure the new administration that the whole PNP organization would toe the line and do its best in preventing and fighting crimes,” he said.
He said the PNP, during his stint, was able to reduce crime rate with a considerable decrease in the incidence of murder, homicide, car theft, robbery and theft and other street crimes.
Marquez said the decrease in the crime figures may be attributed to a strategy of bringing more policemen to the streets. With reports from Mary Jane de Guzman and Rexan Nuarin, Inquirer Southern Luzon
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