A newly-promoted police general who was summoned by President Benigno S. Aquino III to Malacanang may emerge as the dark horse in the race for the top post in the Philippine National Police.
Police Director Danilo Constantino, former regional commander in the Visayas who was promoted to a three-star rank, is now the chief of the directorial staff. He was the fourth man in PNP hierarchy to be interviewed by Aquino at the Palace recently.
Constantino admitted he and his PMA classmate Director Ricardo Marquez, the current chief of the directorate for operations went to Malacanang on the order of the President.
“It’s true that we were summoned by the President but we don’t know if it was really an interview because that was just a casual conversation,” Constantino told reporters during talks with PNP Officer-in-Charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina in Camp Crame.
He revealed that he was the first one who talked with the President; he declined to disclosed what was discussed during the meeting with the President.
Constantino, a member of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 1982 was promoted to deputy director general along with three other senior police officials Thursday.
Constantino said the meeting with Aquino centered on some issues relating to the Mamasapano operations that claimed the lives of 44 police commandos and the supposed factions in the PNP which he did not elaborate.
He said that the retirement issue was also discussed with the President. “There was a question about retirement. Maybe he (President) wants to know if our birthdays are after the 2016 elections.”
However, Constantino brushed aside presumptions of him being picked to the PNP top post. “Its too presumptive. Of course, I would be elated if I were considered.”
Constantino will be retiring in July next year, before Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo bows of service in March 2016, the crucial pre-requisite in the selection process for the next PNP chief.
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas emphasized that the selection process has been limited to those whose retirement date is beyond the 2016 elections.
By that requisite, Garbo is technically disqualified since his retirement comes two months before the 2016 presidential elections.
Other contenders to the PNP top post include Director Benjamin Magalong, head of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and suspended police Regional-3 commander Chief Supt Raul Petrasanta.
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