FROM how it looks, President Rodrigo Duterte will be announcing the next top cop from a list that doesn’t provide choices other than the singular name that was submitted by the National Police Commission (Napolcom).
A highly-placed Palace insider told FrontpagePh the name that was recommended by Napolcom is no other than Philippine National Police (PNP) deputy-director general for administration Guillermo Eleazar.
However, the source said that there has been a last ditch effort by a Davao-based group, which prefers National Capital Region Police Office director Brigadier General Vicente Danao to get past Eleazar.
Danao served a full two-year term as Davao City local police chief when Duterte was its mayor.
Earlier in the day, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, in his capacity as Napolcom chairman, said that they have already submitted their recommendation to the President, adding that merit, seniority and capability drove them to nominate just one person for the tough job as the country’s top cop, replacing PNP director general Debold Sinas who is set to retire when he turns 56 years old on Saturday.
He, however, declined to reveal their choice ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte who is expected to make the announcement himself.
“Ito ay based on merit at seniority at capability ng leadership, at previous assignment sa PNP organization,” said Año who went on to clarify that it would still be up for the President, who he claims wields the power to choose any officer with at least a police brigadier general rank for the top post.
Asked whether Duterte might pick somebody other than whom they recommended, Año has this to say — “Posible ’yan, nasa kanyang kapangayarihan ’yan. Yun pa naman ay di pa nangyari sa parte ng PNP at Armed Forces. Halos lahat ng dumaan na PNP chief nandu’n ang pangalan na ni-recommend ng DILG at Napolcom. ‘Yung No. 1 sa listahan ang sinusunod ng Pangulo.”
Other than Eleazar, other top contenders to replace the controversial Sinas include PNP Deputy Chief for Operations Lieutenant General Joselito Vera Cruz, PNP Chief for Directorial Staff Lieutenant General Israel Ephraim Dickson and Danao.
While Eleazar is the most senior and decorated among the possible replacements of the retiring Sinas, insiders hinted at Danao, who served as Davao City chief of police when Duterte was still its mayor, as the dark horse.