PANGASINAN, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP)’s two top officials will be assuming their new, higher positions by next week, even as the national police force remains without a chief.
In a chance interview with reporters at the sidelines of a KOMPe forum in Dagupan, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II said Police Deputy Director Generals Leonardo Espina and Marcelo Garbo Jr's new positions in the PNP Command Group “are going to be formalized by next week.”
Espina, who is also PNP Officer-in-Charge, is currently the police force’s number 3, or its Deputy Chief for Operations (DCO).
Garbo, meanwhile, is the Chief of Directorial Staff (TCDS) or the PNP's number 4.
By next week, Espina will officially be Deputy Chief for Administation (DCA) while Garbo will take over as DCO.
The “promotion” of the two generals means a new police official will soon enter the Command Group as TCDS.
Those considered front-runners for the position are Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and Board of Inquiry (BOI) chief Police Director Benjamin Magalong, Directorate for Operations chief Police Director Ricardo Marquez, and Logistics Directorate chief Police Director Juanito Vaño.
Still no chief
Espina and Garbo are currently the only members of the Command Group, which is typically composed of 4 police generals, including the PNP chief and the DCA.
The Command Group was left with gaps following the preventive suspension of former PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima over a graft case, and the retirement of former DCA Deputy Director General Felipe Rojas early December 2014.
Purisima resigned as PNP chief early February 2015, following the backlash of “Oplan Exodus,” a January 25 police operation that claimed the lives of 67 Filipinos, including 44 elite cops.
Espina himself had earlier said not having a full-time or acting PNP chief was affecting the police force administratively. (READ: Why the PNP needs a full-time chief now)
Roxas dodged questions about the President’s delay in appointing a new full-time PNP chief and refused to react to Espina’s previous statements, adding that he “cannot comment on something that’s hearsay.”
Both Espina and Garbo have been interviewed by the President for the position. Other names being floated for PNP chief include Magalong, Marquez, Vaño, and Chief Superintendent Raul Petrasanta who is also a close friend of the Aquino family.
Petrasanta, however, is currently serving a 6-month preventive suspension order over his alleged involvement in anomalous deals as former chief of the PNP’s Firearms and Explosives Office. – Rappler.com