MANILA — The National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) has submitted to Malacañang a shortlist of candidates to succeed Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. as the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the outgoing chief said Sunday.
Azurin, who is set to retire on Monday, said he was not aware who his possible successors were, adding he was only seeing some names from news reports.
“I think the NAPOLCOM has already submitted 'yung shortlist but I’m not aware who are the candidates,” he said.
PNP spokesperson Jean Fajardo earlier said the police force would leave to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. the task to choose its new chief.
A change-of-command and retirement honors ceremony for Azurin is scheduled at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City on Monday.
The ceremony will conclude Azurin's nine-month stint as chief of the country's 220,000-strong police force, which had been marred by controversies including an alleged cover-up of a P6.7-billion drug bust in Manila last October.
Azurin was also quick to defend BGen. Narciso Domingo, one of the police officials allegedly involved in the said cover-up.
Speaking at a turnover of the Calabarzon Police Regional Office on Sunday, Azurin insisted that Domingo, who was head of the Police Drug Enforcement Group at the time of the bust, had a clean reputation and was honest in all his dealings.
“Unfortunately some of his personnel thought that it’s still business as usual. That’s why he requested for that investigation so that he will not be suspected of covering up for his (men),” Azurin said.
What's next for Azurin?
Meanwhile, Azurin said he was planning to spend more time with his family after his retirement, even possibly taking them to a vacation.
He also said he was willing to remain a member of the independent five-man panel tasked to screen resigned police officers of any links to the illegal drug trade.
“It will all depend (on) our President. Definitely, if our services are being called by no less than our President then we have to accept the challenge. We are here to help him in any way we can because, personally, I believe in his leadership,” he said.
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