PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd, should go beyond friendship in choosing the next chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and give the job to the most qualified police officer of the institution, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Wednesday.
Alan Purisima, according to Marcos, was selected to lead the PNP in 2012 because he was a close friend of the President.
Purisima’s closeness to Aquino is also seen as the reason why he remains in the service despite numerous corruption complaints filed against him before the Office of the Ombudsman and his unauthorized participation in the execution of Oplan Exodus the led to the killing of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) police commandos last January.
“Five months after the 44 SAF troops were murdered in the infamous Mamasapano massacre, Gen. Purisima still enjoys the comfort of his home and the company of his friends while the orphans of the fallen policemen cry for justice. It seems that his closeness with the President is working favorably for him,” Marcos noted.
The senator is proposing the creation of an official and transparent selection body that will scrutinize qualifications of candidates for the top PNP post and recommend to the President a short list from which he will choose.
“This way, friends of the President will not bump off those who are most competent, most loyal to the country, most upright, and most public service-oriented candidates. The selection process should not be secret and must be open to the public,” Marcos said.
The President may appoint any police officer with a rank of Chief Superintendent and up as chief of the PNP but at present there are five names that are reportedly being considered by Malacanang namely Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta, former Central Luzon police chief; Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr., deputy chief for operations; Director Benjamin Magalong, chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG); Director Ricardo Marquez, of the Directorate for Operations; and Director Juanito Vano of the Directorate for Logistics.
Petrasanta, who will retire in June 2017 is reportedly being backed by House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr, while Garbo is backed by Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd and is set to retire in March 2016.
Magalong, who is reportedly close to former Senator Panfilo Lacson, will retire in December 2016.
Marquez, meanwhile, is reportedly being backed by former Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno.
Vano, who will be retiring in May 2016, is reportedly the candidate of Purisima.
In February, Purisima resigned as PNP chief amid public outrage and calls for him to resign because of the Mamasapano massacre.
Earlier, he was suspended by the Ombudsman for alleged anomalies and replaced by Deputy Director Leonardo Espina, who took over as officer-in-charge.