MANILA - The second-in-command of the Philippine National Police (PNP)on Thursday kept his distance from speculations that the country's top cop is set to retire early.
It is up to President Rodrigo Duterte to decide on the possible early retirement of PNP chief Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa, said his number 2 man, General Ramon Apolinario.
Apolinario added that he supports Dela Rosa because of the latter's dedication to his duty.
"I support my chief PNP kasi talagang napakasigasig niya at napaksipag niya sa trabaho," he told reporters.
There are speculations circulating within the leadership of the PNP on the retirement of Dela Rosa to give way to Apolinario.
Dela Rosa is scheduled to retire in January 2018 and if he will finish his term, Apolinario will no longer have a chance at the top spot.
Apolinario, currently the PNP deputy chief for administration and a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Sandiwa Class 1985, is scheduled to retire on Aug. 31, 2018.
By virtue of seniority, Apolinario was next in line to the top spot after then PNP Chief Gen. Ricardo Marquez retired. However, President Rodrigo Duterte instead chose Dela Rosa to lead the country's police force, bypassing PMA Class '83, '84 and '85.
In order to qualify and be appointed as the next PNP chief, Apolinario needs one more full year in office and this can only happen if Dela Rosa retires this month. -- With Henry Atuelan, ABS-CBN News