Lawmakers on Monday asked President Aquino III to appoint a new Philippine National Police (PNP) chief in the wake of the resignation of Director General Alan Purisima.
Representatives Gary Alejano of Magdalo party-list, Jonathan de la Cruz of Abakada party-list, Silvestre Bello III, Albee Benitez of Negros Occidental and Bolet Banal of Quezon City said that the appointment of a new PNP chief at the soonest possible time was necessary to provide direction and boost the morale of the 125,000-strong police force.
“It is time now that President [Aquino] appoints a permanent head of PNP for it to proceed and refocus its mandated tasks
after the bloody [Mamasapano] incident, for after all the safety and security of the greater majority of the Filipino people rest on their hands,” Alejano said.
De la Cruz, a member of the House Independent Bloc of Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, said the resignation of Purisima, a known presidential buddy and who allegedly led the bloody Mamasapano operation despite his suspension on corruption charges, was “good riddance.”
Having Purisima replaced, de la Cruz said, would give President Aquino III an “opportunity to bring the PNP back to its feet and reassure the nation that he can still make decision for the national interest.”
Bello, a member of the House minority group, meanwhile, reminded Malacanang to “make appointments on the basis of competence and integrity, and never by reason of friendship or family relationship.”
Benitez and Banal, both Palace allies, expressed confidence that the President would be able to appoint Purisima’s replacement to someone who would be fit for the job.
Benitez said the next PNP chief will have to regain the morale of his people.
“At the moment, the public sympathizes with the police force. Let us rally behind them to create a stronger PNP,” Benitez, chair of the House committee on housing, said.
“It is very important for our President to appoint a permanent PNP chief, someone with impeccable credentials and unassailable integrity,” Banal, a House deputy majority leader, said.
“This will definitely help boost the morale of the PNP and will also help in countering who are out to exploit the Mamasapano incident for their political gain,” Banal added.