'The PNP is in good hands' - Espina
MANILA (UPDATE) - President Aquino has appointed Director Ricardo Marquez as the new chief of the Philippine National Police.
Marquez replaces PNP OIC Leonardo Espina who is set to retire this Thursday.
Espina vouched for Marquez, saying the police official has proven his mettle.
"If I can only describe him in one word, 'napakasipag.' He has proven his mettle and the capability as well as his competence in the major activities that we faced during the past few months and even years," he said.
"The PNP is in good hands," he added.
Prior to his appointment, Marquez served as head of the PNP directorate for operations. He also served as Region 1 police director during the 2013 elections.
Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas said Marquez also helped plan law enforcement operations during Pope Francis' visit to the Philippines last January.
He said one task for the new PNP chief is to ensure credible elections in 2016. Marquez is set to retire on August 2016 after the national polls.
Asked if Marquez was always the President's choice, Roxas said: "What is important is he is the choice."
It took the President more than six months to appoint a new PNP chief after the last PNP chief, Alan Purisima, resigned after the Mamasapano tragedy.
Marquez thanked the President for appointing him head of the 160,000-strong national police force. He urged members of the PNP to contribute their share to strengthen the institution.
The new PNP chief is set to present his plans and programs on Thursday including an increased focus on crime prevention.
Asked what kind of PNP chief he would be, Marquez said a national police chief must be "a father to all the members of the police organization."