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Marquez is new PNP chief
« on: July 16, 2015, 08:26:14 AM »
By Cecille Suerte Felipe | Philippine Star

 The man in charge of securing Pope Francis during his visit to the Philippines last January has been named chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The appointment of Director Ricardo Marquez by President Aquino came five days before PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56 on July 19, and seven months after the post was vacated with the suspension of Alan Purisima.

“With all humility and full of gratitude to President Aquino and Secretary Mar Roxas, I am accepting the challenge to me, the 150,000 strong men and women of the PNP,” Marquez said in a brief speech at Camp Crame after being informed of his new job by Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II.

“I appeal for your support for your police in the fight against criminality and the pursuit to build peaceful communities and neighborhoods,” he said.

On instructions of President Aquino, Roxas announced the appointment of Marquez in the presence of other top PNP officials including Espina, Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr., PNP deputy chief for operations; and Deputy General Danilo Constantino, chief director staff.

Roxas said Marquez assumes the full rank and title of chief PNP with four stars.

He said the appointment of the right PNP chief is crucial, especially with the coming presidential election in 2016.

The DILG chief said the President would like to see peaceful and orderly elections in 2016 with Marquez retiring on Aug. 28, 2016, almost two months after Aquino’s successor assumes office.

Roxas stressed that one of the most important tasks of the government is to ensure peaceful and credible elections and whoever is head of the PNP during preparations for the elections should also be the one to execute the plans on election day.

“The President said it won’t be good if the PNP chief involved in planning for the elections retires midway, like in March or April, and gets replaced by someone who was not the PNP leader during the period of poll preparations,” Roxas said in Filipino.

Marquez revealed that the PNP is now in its third preparatory meeting with partners from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

“I urge the officers, men and women of the PNP, to rally behind your leadership as I ask each and everyone of you now to contribute your share in strengthening this institution,” he told police officials and personnel at Camp Crame.

Marquez said he accepted the challenge “at the point in time of the history of the PNP organization, which is recovering and moving on, from a difficult situation… when we are hosting an APEC for the second time in 20 years, and your police is tasked not only to provide force and resources but leadership and experience as well to the national joint task force.”

“This is an opportune time to focus on renewing the core functions of the PNP – that is patrolling the streets in our communities, to make sure that crimes are properly investigated to prevent them from happening and to track down and take down most wanted criminals and criminal gangs,” Marquez noted.

Marquez said the PNP under his leadership would always follow the presidential directive of zero incidents during major international events.

“Your partner in law enforcement agencies and local government units and the Filipino people, I appeal to you to support your police in the fight against criminality and the pursuit to build peaceful communities and neighborhoods,” he added.

Before his appointment as PNP chief, Marquez was director for operations as well as police chief of the Ilocos-Pangasinan region, where he launched a massive campaign against criminality, particularly against motorcycle-riding criminals, drug syndicates and armed groups.

“Gen. Marquez is a hardworking officer with a proven track record in all his previous assignments” Espina said in reaction to Marquez’s appointment as PNP chief.

Espina will formally hand over command of the PNP to Marquez tomorrow.

Until Marquez’s appointment, the PNP had no full time chief since the suspension of Purisima for alleged corruption in December last year.

Purisima eventually resigned as PNP chief on Feb. 6 after the Mamasapano bloodbath for which he was widely blamed because he led its planning and execution even if he was under suspension.

Dozens were killed in the operation, including 44 members of the elite Special Action Force who had waited in vain for reinforcement to arrive. The police commandos were leaving Mamasapano, Maguindanao after killing a high value international terrorist on Jan. 25 when they were waylaid by guerrillas of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Purisima went on leave after serving his six-month suspension only to be dismissed from the service by the Office of the Ombudsman on June 30 for grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and grave abuse of authority for forging a questionable contract with courier service Werfast Documentary Agency in 2011.

Purisima’s opting to stay in the police force despite his resignation had shut the door to Espina’s chances of getting four-star rank since under the law, only one PNP official can have four-star rank.

President Aquino earlier said he had decided against picking Espina as PNP chief, as naming him to the position would be “disruptive to the service” since the latter was nearing retirement.

In mid-June, Aquino started interviewing possible choices for PNP chief.

At Malacañang, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the President’s appointment of Marquez was based on qualifications.

“The President’s decision was based on who is most qualified for the position. And that’s his basis for appointing Marquez as incoming PNP chief,” Coloma told a press briefing.

Meanwhile, Sen. Grace Poe expressed hope Marquez’s appointment as PNP chief would provide better leadership and stability to the police force.

“I’m very happy to learn that a permanent PNP chief has been appointed. This will give the police force a clearer direction and a stable leadership,” she said in Filipino.

“I don’t know Director Marquez personally, but just the same he needs our prayer and support so he can succeed in serving the people as leader,” Poe, chairperson of the Senate committee on peace and order and dangerous drugs, said.
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Marquez is new PNP chief
« on: July 16, 2015, 08:26:14 AM »