New PNP chief can still be appointed in March – Palace

Posted at 09/23/12 2:07 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome’s plans to retire at the end of his term in March will not hinder Malacanang from appointing his replacement amid an election ban.

In an interview with radio dzRB, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said there is an exception laid out by the Constitution.

She is referring to a provision in the Constitution prescribing that two months before the elections, the president is banned from making appointments “except when public order and safety requires such appointment.”

This could be another school of thought when it comes to the issue. Earlier, Malacanang officials also expressed apprehensions that if Bartolome will not retire early, President Benigno Aquino III could not make an appointment in March.

While in Vladivostok early this month, Aquino announced the removal of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno from his post following several controversies. Aquino mentioned the name of Bartolome as Puno’s replacement.

The plan is not panning out, however. Last week, Aquino mentioned that Puno’s “replacement” seemed to have changed his mind.

For his part, Bartolome also announced he will finish his job until March 2013.