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Police chief asked to retire

Will comply with Aquino’s suggestion to quit ahead of 2013 polls

Gulf News

Manila: Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome said he would comply with President Benigno Aquino’s suggestion that he should be on a non-duty status until the time he would retire in March 2013, three months ahead of the 2013 mid-term polls.

He also said Aquino might ask him ahead of his retirement on Macrh 15 next year.

“I work at the pleasure of the President. Our service (in the PNP) depends on the need of a particular period,” said Bartolome, adding, “I am open to the idea (of retiring early). Whatever the President desires, I will follow. I’m ready (to accept) whatever the decision of the President.”

“I look at it positively. I should not be the worry of the commander-in-chief. I should not be a problem,” Bartolome added.

The police chief gave a press conference after Aquino had left for Laos to attend the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) held in Laos.

It was the first time that Bartolome to break his silence .

It was also in response to Aquino’s earlier negative statement against Bertolome.

Earlier, Aquino said he wanted Bartolone’s successor to seat in office ahead of March to prepare for his role in the May 2013 mid-term polls.

This would allow the PNP to map a comprehensive security measures for next year’s polls, said Aquino.

“I am a member of the team of the commander-in-chief. He’s our team leader. I know that a team member should be flexible,” Bartolome explained Aquino’s decision.

The two have yet to schedule a formal meeting for a final goodbye, other sources said.

Bartolome denied that Aquino has offered him another post.

“That’s not a condition for me to either retire early or go on a non-duty status,” he said.

In early October, complainants filed a graft case against Bartolome and 15 others before the Ombudsman over alleged anomalous gun deal that amounted to P1.2 billion (Dh100 million). The complainants, represented by Romulo Fernandez Maningding and Peter Cheng, offered a bid to supply the PNP 59,904 units of 9 mm pistols.

They asked Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales to issue a preventive suspension order against Bartolome and his men while they are being investigated of the alleged graft case.

The complainants alleged that they were asked to pay P275,000 (Dh22,916) for bidding documents even if reproduction of the said documents amounted only to P1,000 (Dh75).

The PNP also asked for 10 sample pistols for testing during the post-qualification stage.