Police Lt. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia was poised to succeed Police General Dionardo Carlos as chief of the Philippine National Police, a move that was expected to be announced last night based on a statement by President Rodrigo Duterte.
During his regular Talk to the People on Monday night, Duterte said his choice of next PNP chief from the list given to him by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año “will be made public tomorrow (Tuesday).”
Sermonia is the PNP’s No. 2 man as the Deputy Chief for Administration behind Carlos, who is due to retire on May 8 – on the eve of Election Day.
Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao was assumed to be the other candidate for PNP chief, but he was promoted on Monday—from being the No. 4 man as chief of the PNP Directorial Staff to the No. 3 as Deputy Chief for Operations.
Danao replaced Lt. Gen. Ferdinand Divina, who retired on May 2, or six days before the scheduled retirement of Carlos.
In appointing the eighth PNP chief under his tenure, Duterte said: “I will review the recommendation, pati yung ano ang nagawa nila (including what they have done). The biodata of the contenders, the history of their previous work in the government (will be reviewed).”
Carlos is reaching the mandatory PNP retirement age of 56. He was appointed the seventh PNP chief under the Duterte administration on November 12, 2021.
Año earlier said he recommended two senior police officials for acting PNP chief post to Duterte.
Citing Article 7 Section 15 of the Constitution, Año said the president can only order temporary appointments within 60 days before the national elections.
“I have already submitted my recommendation on Tuesday to the President alongside with the National Police Commission (Napolcom) Resolution 2022-0236. I have submitted the names of two senior police officials who may be designated by the President as the replacement of Gen. Dionardo Carlos in an acting capacity upon his retirement on May 8, 2022,” Año told the Philippine News Agency.
On whether he was recommending the extension of Carlos’ tenure, Año said he would have to assess and wait for the President’s order.
Carlos said the PNP, under his leadership, has made preparations to ensure honest, orderly and peaceful elections.
He said he has complied with the directive of higher authorities to “make the necessary contingency plans after May 9, onwards (and) a good transition to the next leadership of this country.”
“We made sure that the PNP will perform professionally for a peaceful election which means people will be able to come out to vote, their votes not bought, without any fear and on their free will,” Carlos said. “We’re just looking at what’s happening day-to-day, tweaking the plans if needed.”