The next chief of the Philippine National Police may be named soon with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) set to come up with their shortlist in the coming days.
“Within the week I will convene the NAPOLCOM and we will come up with a recommendation,” DILG Secretary and concurrent NAPOLCOM chief Eduardo Año told the Daily Tribune on Monday.
Once a list is ready, Año will then submit it to President Rodrigo Duterte for his evaluation.
Traditionally, the top three most senior officials of the 210,000-strong police force are up for consideration for the top post.
This will likely be PLt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, the Deputy Chief for Administration; the Chief of the Directorial Staff, PLt. Gen. Joselito Vera Cruz, and Directorate for Integrated Police Operations (DIPO)-Northern Luzon, PLt. Gen. Ephraim Dickson.
All are PNP chief PGen. Debold Sinas’ classmates from the Philippine Military Academy “Hinirang” Class of 1987.
Except for Eleazar, Vera Cruz and Dickson were among those given new posts in the PNP’s Command Group due to the forthcoming retirement of the Deputy Chief for Operations and concurrent Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander, PLt. Gen. Cesar Hawthorne Binag, on 24 April.
Vera Cruz will be taking over Binag’s position, while Dickson will be occupying the former’s old post.
“I have informed and recommended to the SILG that the current TCDS (Chief Directorial Staff), PLt. Gen. Joselito Vera Cruz, will be elevated to the position of DCO to take over from PLt. Gen. Binag,” Sinas said in his first press briefing since getting recovering from the coronavirus disease last month.
Sinas added that Directorate for Human Resource and Doctrine Development (HRDD) chief PMaj. Gen. Emmanuel Abu is also included in the reshuffle and will be taking over Dickson’s post.
Should the DILG chief approve the recommended revamp, their new assignments will take effect today.
Año previously noted that while he can make recommendations, the President still has the prerogative to appoint someone not on the shortlist as provided by law.
Sinas, who was involved in the controversial mañanita incident last year, at the height of the Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) last year, is set to retire from the police service this coming 8 May.