Three senior police officials are on the shortlist of candidates for the next chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said on Wednesday.
“Nakapag-submit na ako ng shortlist kay PRRD through a Napolcom resolution (I have submitted a shortlist to President Rodrigo R. Duterte through a National Police Commission resolution). Three senior PNP officials but I cannot mention the names and ranks,” Año said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
This comes as PNP Chief, Gen. Camilo Cascolan is set to retire from the service on November 10.
Cascolan officially assumed as the country’s 24th top cop on September 2, replacing Gen. Archie Gamboa.
He is also a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Sinagtala Class of 1986, along with Gamboa and former PNP chiefs Ronald dela Rosa and Oscar Albayalde.
Former PNP spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, earlier said the PNP would follow the “rule of succession” of command if no announcement is made on who would succeed the outgoing PNP chief.
Other ranking officials of the PNP are Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, deputy chief for administration, the PNP’s second-highest official, who is also the commander of the Joint Task Force Covid Shield; Lt. Gen. Cesar Hawthorne Binag, deputy chief for operations; and Maj. Gen. Joselito Vera Cruz, chief of the directorial staff.
Eleazar and Binag, both from PMA Class of 1987, will retire in April and November 2021, respectively.
Cruz is a PMA classmate of Eleazar and Binag.
In a press briefing in Camp Crame on Wednesday, Cascolan said he has not yet received an order from the President regarding an extension of his term.
“Susunod lang po tayo sa kautusan. Trabaho lang po tayo and, of course, ‘yung (ginagawa) naman po natin ay para sa kabutihan ng lahat (We would just follow orders and continue work. Of course, what we are doing is for everyone’s good) and whoever may be able to replace me, of course, I hope he will be able to sustain our programs,” he told reporters when sought for a comment.
Aside from the members of the PNP command group, earlier reports floated other contenders for PNP chief, among them Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas, National Police Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief and Police Regional Office 4A (Calabarzon) director, Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao, who belongs to PMA Class of 1991.
Sinas is set to retire in May next year while Danao has two more years left in his service. (PNA)