MANILA - The race for the next chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) is now down to two.
President Aquino separately interviewed Deputy Director General Danilo Constantino, the chief of directorial staff, and PNP operations chief Director Ricardo Marquez two weeks ago, sources revealed.
The President has yet to appoint a full-time PNP chief with only 11 days before the retirement of officer-in charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina. The PNP has no permanent chief following the resignation of Director General Alan Purisima, who was ordered dismissed from the service over his involvement in a questionable gun license courier deal.
Sources said Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr. the PNP deputy chief for operations appeared to have lost the chance to land the top post.
Garbo is next in line in seniority but he would be retiring on March 2, 2016 during the height of preparations for the presidential elections.
The President reportedly asked the contenders about their retirement apparently in connection with the May 2016 elections.
Constantino will retire on July 2, 2016 or two days after the 16th Philippine president is sworn in while Marquez will bow out of the service on Aug. 28, 2016.
The President reportedly asked the two police officials to submit their respective written reports on various issues, including what they think of the Mamasapano incident and the grumbling of senior officials in the PNP.
Constantino and Marquez were classmates at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Sandigan” Class of 1982. Their classmates include Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief Director Benjamin Magalong, National Capital Regional Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Carmelo Valmoria, Director Christopher Laxa, head of the Directorate for Human Resource and Doctrine Development (DHRDD), former Special Action Force (SAF) chief Director Getulio Napeñas and former PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr.
Both Constantino and Marquez had training both in the country and abroad. They were also classmates in masters in management at Philippine Christian University (PCU).
A personal data sheet obtained by The STAR showed Constantino underwent an Urban Patrol Tactics Course in 1991, General Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Course in 2000 and Police Executive Role in Combating Terrorism in 2005, all held in the US. He also completed an International Strategic Intelligence Course in Australia.
Constantino has Police Executive Service Eligibility and Napolcom eligibility and held about 39 positions in about 35 years in the police service.
A native of Gapan, Nueva, Ecija, Constantino is married to Chona Alano-Constantino. They have three children.
Constantino’s four-page curriculum vitae did not mention any awards or citation from the police service.
The STAR also obtained an eight-page copy of the personal data sheet of Marquez, which stated he held about 37 positions in his about 35 years in the police service.
Marquez had training in Senior Crisis Management Course in the US, Senior Leadman Course, Workshop for Senior Police Officers of ASEANAPOL Member Countries, Police Intelligence Officers Senior Executive Course, PNP officer Advanced Course, PC Officers Basic Course, Basic Intelligence Course for Constabulary and INP Officers, Managing Effectively the Human Dimension of Strategic Organization Development, Counterfeit Detection Seminar, Lecture on Graft Law and Public Accountability, workshop on illegal drugs, leadership program and intelligence seminar.
Marquez received numerous awards and commendations, including PNP Junior Police Commissioned Officer in 1994 and 1995.
During his stint as provincial police director of Nueva Ecija, Marquez initiated efforts to ensure peaceful and orderly elections. The province, which used to have bloody elections due to intense political rivalry, made history for having the most peaceful polls in late 2000.
Marquez has 148 medals and awards, including four distinguished service medals, 12 PNP outstanding achievement medals, seven PNP special service awards, four PNP heroism medals, three bronze cross medals, 16 merit medals and four for good conduct.
The PNP leadership credited Marquez for the peaceful and orderly visit of Pope Francis last January, the APEC meetings and the recent ASEAN forum.
Sources said President Aquino will announce his choice for PNP chief soon – either before Espina’s retirement on July 19 or before his State of the Nation Address on July 27.
Read more on The Philippine Star