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Name PNP chief now

  • Written by Peoples Journal
  • Published in Newsdesk

The Armed Forces has a brand new chief who is now in full command of the country’s military forces.
   
Come to think of it, the AFP never had a leadership vacuum in the sense that an officer in charge was at the helm. Never – at least in recent memory.
   
The uniformed service moves through a command structure where orders naturally, constantly flow from top to bottom.
   
Take away an official formally appointed to head the entire organization, and the power to command of an interim officer is greatly diminished psychologically.
   
Junior officer are naturally discouraged from crafting long-term plans and programs because their chief would only be around on a hold-over capacity.
   
And this could stymie the entire organization, sap morale among the ranks, and even imperil operations.
   
The Mamasapano massacre of our elite police troops would forever reminds us of the folly of not having someone in full command of a uniformed armed service.
   
The massacre happened more than six months ago when there was no National Police chief  running the country’s uniformed law-enforcement agency.
   
Sure, an officer-in-charge  was around, but he was largely bypassed by the Commander-in-Chief. So was his boss, the secretary of Interior and Local Government.
   
Who “wrote, produced, and directed” the bloody turkey shoot?  The suspended PNP chief.          
   
Now six months – that’s an excruciatingly long time – should be more than enough to make a short list and choose the next PNP chief for a sensible, forward-looking Commander in Chief.    
   
Thus, we share the hope of Sen. Francis Escudero that a permanent PNP chief would be appointed before Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, the PNP OIC, retires this week.
   
Escudero said the appointment of 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.
   
The next PNP chief would be in a position to fill crucial posts in the PNP, such as regional and provincial chiefs, he said.
   
“The role of the PNP in the electoral process is absolutely crucial in ensuring the peaceful conduct of the elections. In order to do that, we have to make sure that all police offices in the country have their own permanent chiefs,” the lawmaker noted.
   
The Department of the Interior and Local Government has confirmed to the senator that there are 38 “third-level positions” in the PNP, including two regional directors, who are in acting capacity status.
   
In a June 5 letter to Escudero, DILG Undersecretary Edwin Enrile said aside from the two regional directors, the other posts occupied by officers-in-charge are that of 26 provincial directors, eight chiefs of city police offices and two chiefs of city police stations.
   
The list does not include the posts of chiefs of city and municipal stations, which 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 Thursday, 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 demoralize 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.
     
Our thoughts, exactly.

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