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Palace: Duterte has chosen Sinas successor

Palace: Duterte has chosen Sinas successor

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has chosen the next chief of the 220,000-strong Philippine National Police (PNP), according to Malacañang.

“I know he has made a decision, but I am not at liberty to announce anything unless I have the appointment papers,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said at a press briefing yesterday when asked about the successor of PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas, who will retire on May 8.

The National Police Commission (Napolcom) has recommended to the President a lone candidate to replace Sinas, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said.

“We submitted only one name. I can’t mention who it is,” Año said in an interview on Teleradyo, adding that the President might announce his decision this week.

Año, who also chairs the Napolcom, said the agency made its choice based on “merit, seniority, leadership and previous assignments in the PNP.”

He said the President still has the prerogative to choose any police general with at least a one-star rank for the post.

Sinas was appointed PNP chief on Nov. 10 last year, replacing retired general Camilo Cascolan.

Sinas, then director of the National Capital Region Police Office, received flak over a mañanita birthday party that violated a prohibition on mass gatherings.

Duterte had rejected calls for him to dismiss Sinas, saying it was not the general’s fault if his friends serenaded him during his birthday.

The senior members of the PNP all belong to the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1987, including Sinas. They are deputy chief for administration Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, deputy chief for operations Lt. Gen. Joselito Vera Cruz Jr. and directorial staff chief Lt. Gen. Ephraim Dickson.

Eleazar will retire from the police service in November. Vera Cruz and Dickson will retire in March next year.

The President had appointed five PNP chiefs: the drug war’s brains and now senator Ronald Dela Rosa, Oscar Albayalde, Archie Francisco Gamboa, Cascolan and Sinas.