Press Release
July 11, 2015


Sen. Chiz Escudero is hoping that a permanent chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) will be appointed before its officer-in-charge (OIC), Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, retires on July 16.

Escudero said that appointing a permanent head for the country's 150,000-strong police force would help ensure peace and order ahead of the May 2016 general elections for he would be in a position to fill crucial posts in the PNP, such as regional and provincial chiefs.

"The role of the PNP in the electoral process is absolutely crucial in ensuring the peaceful conduct of the elections. And in order to do that, we have to make sure that all police offices in the country have their own permanent chiefs," Escudero said.

The lawmaker said he received confirmation from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) that there are 38 "third-level positions" in the PNP, including two regional directors, who are in acting capacity status.

In his June 5, 2015 letter to Escudero, DILG Undersecretary Edwin Enrile said that aside from the two regional directors, the other OIC positions are 26 provincial directors, eight chiefs of city police offices, and two chiefs of city police stations.

The list, Enrile said, does not include other chiefs of city and municipal stations that do not require confirmation from the chairman of the National Police Commission.

As OIC, Espina could only appoint police officers in acting capacity to fill vital posts in the PNP. He is expected to retire on July 16, three days before he reaches the mandatory age retirement of 56 on July 19, which falls on a Sunday.

Escudero warned that the lack of permanent appointments in the PNP could cause demoralization among its members and prevent them from working more efficiently.

"It is important that the morale of all police officers is kept on a high level at all times," he said.

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