NICK BARTOLOME, in his own words

By Inday Espina-Varona

Posted at Nov 08 2012 12:38 PM | Updated as of Nov 08 2012 08:38 PM

This is NOT my interview. This is a transcript of a press briefing by Philippine National Police DIR. GEN. NICANOR BARTOLOME on Nov. 7, 2012.

There are many factors that make people squeamish about Malacanang’s move to remove the chief PNP — by assigning him from non-duty status, which effectively strips him of all powers of the position.

The big push started when the President Benigno Aquino III was in Russia for the APEC summit, amplified by aides here (though typically, half of them didn’t seem to be aware of the issue), brought up again during PNOY’s recent Laos trip.

The official line is, that the President wants someone in place early so he/she — thought it most certainly will be a he — doesn’t scramble at the height of the election campaign season, when Bart (as he is called by cops and reporters) retires.

Fair enough. We all want clean and honest elections, and to a large extent that will depend on the performance of the PNP.

But people are pointing out: Surely, PNOY knew of Bart’s retirement schedule when he appointed the man?

More important, people are concerned about the President’s penchant for informing media (and his bosses) first about crucial decisions, without first discussing the issues with concerned officials. Which has made for tragicomedy at the PDEA, where both deputy and, eventually, the chief, learned they’d been fired from breaking news. What’s wrong with a phone call, if you can’t be bothered to slot in a meeting or two?

The decisions are legitimate, legal, within his powers. The process — again, the process — leaves you wondering about the President’s increasing tendency to be imperious. I thought that went out of style with his predecessor. Sigh.

I’m sharing the transcript of Bart’s interview to give free rein to his voice.

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.