MANILA: President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino has chosen a veteran lawman who served as one of the security officers of his late mother as the next chief of the 140,000-strong Philippine National Police (PNP), according to a senior cabinet official.
Secretary Mar Roxas 3rd of the Department of Interior and Local Government said he supported Aquino’s choice of Deputy Director General Alan Purisima as the next PNP chief. “Unless I hear otherwise after my discussions with President Aquino, it is General Alan Purisima,” Roxas told Malacanang Palace reporters.
Purisima, the No.4 man in the PNP hierarchy, is to replace Director General Nicanor Bartolome who is to hang his uniform on March 16, 2013 when he reaches his mandatory retirement age of 56.
Based on his biodata, Purisima also served as one of the security officers of Aquino’s mother, the late global democracy icon Corazon “Tita Cory” Aquino who became president following the ouster of Philippine strongman Ferdinand Marcos by the Edsa 1 People Power revolution in 1986. His latest assignment is as the head of a PNP task force to ensure secure and fair election in the coming May 2013 midterm polls less than seven months away.
Before his promotion as the No.4 PNP leader, Purisima acted as chief of the Metro Manila regional police command amid harsh criticisms that he failed to stop the soaring crime rate in the “megalopolis” composed of 15 cities and one town with a total population of more than 12 million.
Critics pointed out that Purisima’s alleged dismal performance stood in sharp contrast to the reforms initiated by his successor Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina who dismissed and penalised at least 2,000 erring policemen in less than two months as the regional police chief.