MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – President Rodrigo Duterte plans to extend the tour of duty of Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa by "two to 3" months before assigning him to the Bureau of Corrections.
Duterte announced this in a press conference in Taguig City on Wednesday, December 13.
"I want to do some things in Mindanao of utmost importance and I need to extend the tour of duty of General Dela Rosa to something like mga two to three months," he said.
The President said he still needs Dela Rosa to oversee some changes in "infrastructure" in police camps in Mindanao.
"It’s mainly infrastructure and maybe the physical setting of the headquarters of the Armed Forces and the police to suit the demands of the moment. I will do transfers and make new camps," said Duterte.
Dela Rosa is supposed to retire in January.
The PNP chief, in an interview with reporters, revealed that he had only been told Duterte wanted to postpone his retirement during the boodlefight earlier that day in Fort Bonifacio.
Duterte decided to extend his tour of duty after Congress approved his request for martial law extension in Mindanao.
Dela Rosa said the martial law extension was related to the President's decision to keep him as PNP chief for longer.
After his extended tour of duty, the top cop will head the Bureau of Corrections where Duterte wants him to stop drug trafficking in national prisons.
Asked who will replace Dela Rosa as head of the PNP, Duterte said he would leave the decision up to the PNP's own selection committee to recommend candidates.
"I leave it to the—I usually do not interfere. I don’t know if they had a sort of an entity within the PNP na tasked with the, you know, reviewing senior officers’ promotion," said Duterte.
However, multiple sources had confirmed the President voiced, during a command conference, his preference for the PNP's second in command, Deputy Director General Ramon Apolinario.
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.