MANILA – The Philippine National Police’s (PNP) highest post remained unoccupied as President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III had not yet appointed a permanent PNP chief until now.
Several police directors, however, had already been endorsed. Chief Supt. Raul D. Petrasanta, Deputy Director General Marcelo P. Garbo Jr., Director Benjamin B. Magalong, Ricardo Marquez and Director Juanito B. Vaño were the reported top contenders of the post.
PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor respected the endorsements but acknowledged that the President had the final say.
“The appointment or designation of the PNP chief is at the sole discretion and decision of President Aquino,” Mayor said.
President Aquino, for his part, had been assessing thoroughly for the past six months, looking at the ‘qualifications, track record and merits’ of the candidates. He also wanted someone whose tenure would go beyond 2016 to ensure continuity.
The President had already met with a number of police officials. Although the Palace refused to name the officials, reports stated that Police Directors Ricardo Marquez and Danilo Constantino were among those interviewed.
“The President has already talked with some of the officials and maybe there will be a formal announcement in the coming days,” Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said in an interview.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma clarified last week that the President knew the ‘sense of urgency’ of appointing the new PNP chief but did not want to rush the selection process.
While President Aquino is still deliberating candidates for the PNP post, Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina had been appointed as the acting PNP chief. Espina, however, will retire next month.