MANILA - President Aquino is not limiting his choice for the top Philippine National Police (PNP) post vacated by Director General Alan Purisima to only two contenders.
“There are others,” Aquino said when asked whether he was considering only PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina or directorial staff chief Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr.
Aquino’s remarks were made last Wednesday, when he was inspecting ports, airports and bus terminals in anticipation of the Holy Week exodus to the provinces.
Aquino admitted interviewing the two contenders but hinted that he is also considering other bets. He also revealed that he is just waiting for the legal opinion of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) regarding the perceived requirement that only a four-star general could be PNP chief.
“But that aspect is only ministerial,” Aquino said, noting that only Purisima holds a four-star rank. This, in effect, purportedly hinders the President from appointing a new PNP chief, as the other officers down the line carry only three- to one-star ranks.
Sources told The STAR that while there can only be one four-star police general in active service, a one-, two- or three-star general may be named PNP chief.
Purisima had reportedly endorsed to Aquino his protege, two-star Police Director Juanito Vaño, as his replacement. But this was denied by the PNP leadership.
Appointing junior officials in the government is nothing new with Aquino and his administration, as he had appointed in the past Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno and Sandiganbayan presiding justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, among others.
Read more on The Philippine Star