President Benigno Aquino III confirmed Friday, April 17, that Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina resigned as officer-in-charge of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and would, therefore, no longer be considered for the top post.
“He did submit his resignation and the acceptance is pending on selecting his replacement,” Aquino said in an interview in Tarlac City.
He said appointing Espina would be “disruptive to the service” since he only has three months to serve before retiring in July.
“Is he still in the running? Iyon na nga ang point. He assumes today, he has to about three months to serve. ‘Pag nag-three months to serve siya, may turnover na naman to the next guy who replaces him, and that’s disruptive to the service. And on that basis General Espina has decided to resign,” he said.
(Is he still running? That is the point. He assumes today, he has about three months to serve. If he serves for three months, there will be another turnover to the next guy who replaces him, and that’s disruptive to the service. And on that basis General Espina has decided to resign.)
He noted that the PNP would have to “reacclamatize” to two director generals in the same year if Espina would be appointed, which he said was “not good” for the organization.
Aquino said he was still interviewing the next PNP chief.
Aside from Espina, Aquino has interviewed directorial staff chief Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr., who has a longer period to serve, if appointed, as he would retire on March 2, 2016.
Aquino said he would have to make an appointment anytime this year.
Espina has been named officer-in-charge of the PNP after the resignation of Director General Alan Purisima. Purisima was suspended for six months pending investigation into the graft charges filed against him and other police officials before the Office of the Ombudsman.
Purisima is also being blamed for the January 25 Mamasapano incident where 44 elite commandos were killed.
Espina said he was kept out of loop from the planning to the actual combat in Oplan Exodus involving the arrest of two international terrorists.