Constantino joins PNP's Command Group

MANILA, Philippines – The chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s community relations arm is now its 4th in command.

Police Director Danilo Constantino, the former chief of the PNP’s Directorate for Police Community Relations (DPCR) has been promoted to Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Chief of Directorial Staff, following the promotion of the police force’s two highest-ranking officials.

According to General Order Number 692 from the PNP’s National Headquarters, Constantino officially joins Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina and Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo, Jr., in the Command Group this week. (READ: Espina, Garbo to assume new PNP posts next week – Roxas)

The order is dated April 14, 2015. 

Espina was promoted from Deputy Chief for Operations to Deputy Chief for Administation while Garbo moved from Chief of Directorial Staff to Deputy Chief for Operations.

The Deputy Chief of Administation is the PNP’s number 2, while the Deputy Chief for Operations is the PNP’s 3rd highest-ranking official. The Chief of Directorial Staff is the PNP’s number 4.

Constantino, a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1982, was previously regional chief of Cebu. He was also executive officer and later the deputy director of the Directorate for Operations.

The 2-star general from Gapan, Nueva Ecija was also deputy director of the Directorate for Comptrollership. 

With his appointment, Constantino bypassed other members of his class who were considered front runners for the Command Group: Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief Police Director Benjamin Magalong and Directorate for Operations chief Police Director Ricardo Marquez.

PNP without a chief

Constantino’s addition to the PNP Command Group and the formal promotion of Espina and Garbo comes as the PNP marks more than 4 months without a full-time or acting chief.

Espina is concurrently the PNP’s Office-in-Charge (OIC) after the preventive suspension and eventual resignation of PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima.

Purisima was suspended by the Ombudsman in December 2014 pending the investigation of a graft case against him.

He resigned in early February after he was implicated in the failure of “Oplan Exodus,” a botched police operation in Mamasapano town, Maguindanao that claimed the lives of at least 67, including 44 members of the PNP Special Action Force.

Espina is among the top contenders for PNP chief although he is turning 56 – the mandatory age for retirement – in July 2015.

Other top contenders for the post of PNP chief are Garbo, Magalong, Marquez, and Directorate for Logistics chief Police Director Juanito Vaño, Jr.

Sources also say that Chief Superintendent Raul Petrasanta, a close friend of President Benigno Aquino III, may come in as a dark horse in the race.

Like Purisima, Petrasanta is currently serving a preventive suspension order stemming from two cases pending before the Ombudsman: the Werfast case, which also involves Purisima, and a case involving the alleged sale of AK-47s to communist rebels in Mindanao.  – Rappler.com