New PNP chief can be appointed despite election ban - Palace
MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang cites "public order and safety" issues for claimining that they can still appoint a replacement for Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Nicanor Bartolome even though his retirement date will fall under the election ban on appointments.
Bartolome reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56 in March 2013, at the height of the election campaign for the mid-term elections in May. This also falls under the appointment ban -- which is 45 days before the elections -- that disallows the President from appointing a permanent replacement for Bartolome.
But presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview on Sunday, September 23, that the 1987 Constitution gives for leeway in this kind of situation.
"If I remember my Constitution correctly, there is an exception to [appointment ban]—except when public order and safety requires the appointment. I remember that is in the article covering the executive," Valte said.
Article VII, Section 15 of the 1987 Constitution states that: "Two months immediately before the next Presidential elections and up to the end of his term, a President or Acting President shall not make appointments, except temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety."
President Benigno Aquino III earlier said that Bartolome has to retire early in preparation for the May 2013 elections. The president wants the incoming PNP chief to be given more time to prepare for the elections. The PNP, after all, plays a key role in ensuring a peaceful conduct of the polls.
"We can probably stretch the transition and training period [for the incoming PNP chief]. That is one way to ensure that we will have peaceful and orderly elections in 2013, Valte said.
The Palace tried to persuade Bartolome to retire early so that he can replace resigned Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno. But Bartolome insisted to stay in his current post until he retires in March 2013.
Reportedly being groomed to be the next PNP chief is Deputy Director General Alan Purisima, current chief of the PNP directorial staff and a known Aquino favorite. Purisima had served as a security aide of the late President Corazon Aquino.
Valte said that they still have to confirm to Aquino on this issue. - Rappler.com