Even when he was in a meeting with the President, the Interior Secretary and Executive Secretary, Director Ricardo Marquez says he wasn't exactly sure if he was going to be the next chief of the PNP
NEW CHIEF. Director Ricardo Marquez faces the media on July 14, 2015, after he is announced as the new chief of the PNP. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – Even when President Benigno Aquino III was giving him orders and briefing him about the challenges he was going to face, Director Ricardo Marquez was not really sure if he had been chosen as the next Philippine National Police (PNP) chief.
“'Yung marami siyang mga sinasabi na ito 'yung susuungin mo, eto 'yung haharapin mo (He was telling me a lot of things, like this is what you’ll have to contend with, these are the things you’ll face),” Marquez said of his July 13, Monday meeting with the President.
It wasn’t until the “latter part” of the conversation where he was told explicitly that he was going to be the next chief of the PNP.
“Kausap niya si [Interior] Secretary Mar [Roxas] at ES [Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa Jr] at nandoon lang ako sa tabi,” added Marquez, currently the chief of the Directorate for Operations.
(He was speaking to Secretary Mar and ES and I was just there at the side.)
On Tuesday, July 14, Roxas announced that Marquez would be taking over the PNP as soon as officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina dons his uniform one last time on July 16, 2015, when he turns 56.
Marquez told reporters in Camp Crame that he wasn’t exactly shocked over his appointment.
His appointment comes months after the suspension, resignation, and eventual dismissal of former PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima. With his appointment, Marquez will soon be the PNP’s lone 4-star general.
“The selection process took several months so we’re ready whoever the President chooses,” added Marquez, in a mix of English and Filipino.
The new chief of the PNP’s immediate priorities will be planning the 2016 polls and continuing the force’s programs in fighting, preventing, and reducing crime.
The hesitant star
Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, Crame had been filed with anxiety and anticipation over who the President would pick as his fourth and last PNP chief.
Several government sources – from within and outside the PNP – had long expected Marquez to get the plum pot, but did not discount the possibility of Aquino having a last-minute change of heart.
The morning of Tuesday, July 14, top police generals and colonels gathered at the PNP National Headquarters to await the announcement of the new PNP chief.
NEEDS PRACTICE? Marquez jokingly exits as DILG chief Mar Roxas calls him to the podium. Rappler photo
Marquez arrived in the holding room early, ahead of two other police generals who were also interviewed by the President for the top PNP post – Deputy Chief for Operations Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr and Chief of Directorial Staff Deputy Director General Danilo Constantino.
“Binabati ko si Director Marquez sa pagtatalaga sa kanya ni Pangulong Aquino bilang PNP Chief (I congratulate Director Marquez for President Aquino’s appointment of him as PNP chief),” said Roxas, who was flanked by several top police officials, including Garbo and Constantino.
Marquez playfully evaded the podium and made a disclaimer before delivering his acceptance statement as Roxas egged him on to speak before the media.
“Kailangan ko ng tutor (I need a tutor),” Marquez said in jest, gesturing to a police general beside him.
It was not so much worry and hesitation, but a man’s realization of the daunting task ahead of him. When asked what first came to his mind when he was told he would be PNP chief, Marquez quickly answered: “Would I level up to the expectations?”
Marquez will presumably serve as its chief until August 28, 2016, when he turns 56, the mandatory age of retirement.
He has on his plate a gamut of tasks: mending the wounds left behind by the bloody “Oplan Exodus,” factions in the PNP, the ongoing APEC Summit meetings, and the coming 2016 elections.
This shouldn’t be too much of a problem for Marquez, who played a key role in the PNP’s preparations for the 2013 midterm elections and spearheaded the PNP's preparations for Pope Francis’ visit in January.
“Ang alam ko lang, basta’t binigyan ako ng responsibilidad, gagawin ko (All I know is that when I’m given a responsibility, I do it) to the best of my ability,” he told reporters.
The last-minute lead contender
Marquez has always been a top-of-mind for the PNP chief post, but he wasn’t always the lead contender.
Other generals, those who are more senior or those who had perceived links with the powers that be, were usually mentioned first: Espina, Garbo, Directorate for Logistics chief Director Juanito Vaño Jr, and Marquez’s mistah (PMA classmate) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief Director Benjamin Magalong.
SHOW OF FORCE. Director Ricardo Marquez is flanked by Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, PNP OIC Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina and Deputy Director Marcel Garbo, Jr. Garbo was one of the contenders for the plum post. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler
But more than those officials, it was Chief Superintendent Raul Petrasanta, former regional director of Central Luzon, whom many considered a shoo-in for the PNP post.
Unlike Marquez, Petrasanta has personal ties to the President.
The police general was a member of the Presidential Security Group during the administration of former president Corazon Aquino, the incumbent president’s mother.
Petrasanta’s preventive suspension and eventual dismissal from service over a dubious deal between the Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) and courier company Werfast put a wrench into those plans.
Marquez only emerged as the likely next chief of the PNP in recent weeks.
Amid questions and interview requests from the media, Marquez continued to head preparations for APEC Summit meetings. In the next few weeks, he’ll prepare for several more meetings in different parts of the country.
Marquez called on the public to support the PNP, as it “recovers and moves on from a difficult situation,” he said, referring to the bloody January 25 Mamasapano clash.
What’s the first thing he plans to do after formally being installed chief of the PNP? “Buckle down to work, marami tayong dapat gawin (We have lots to do),” he said. – Rappler.com
Published 2:57 PM, July 14, 2015
Updated 2:57 PM, July 14, 2015
(UPDATED) Director Ricardo Marquez, a graduate of the PMA Class of 1982, is appointed the new chief of the PNP, besting 2 senior officials who were also considered for the post
NEW CHIEF. Director Ricardo Marquez, the incoming chief of the Philippine National Police, speaks to the media in Camp Crame. Photo by Ben Nabong/ Rappler
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – After 7 months of being led by an interim leader, the Philippine National Police (PNP) now has a full-time chief.
Director Ricardo Marquez, currently the chief of the Directorate for Operations, will be the 150,000-strong PNP’s new chief, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II told a press conference in Camp Crame on Tuesday, July 14.
Marquez will officially be installed as the new chief of the police force on Thursday, July 16, the same day the PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina is given his retirement honors.
"We are at a point in time in the history of the organization where we are recovering and moving on from a difficult situation," said Marquez on Tuesday.
He added: "[It's] an opportune time to focus more on the core functions of the police... patrolling the streets and our communities to prevent crime, and making sure that crimes are properly investigated if we fail to prevent them from happening and to track down and take down the most wanted criminals and criminal gangs."
The two-star police general, a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1982, was picked by President Benigno Aquino III after months of vetting candidates for the plum PNP post.
Marquez, who hails from Maragondon, Cavite, was interviewed by the President on June 17.
He bested two candidates more senior than him who were also interviewed by the President: the PNP’s current number 3, Deputy Chief for Operations Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo, Jr. (PMA ’81) and the number 4 cop of the PNP, Chief of Director Staff Deputy Director General Danilo Constantino (PMA ’82).
The race for the post has been among the most heated and anticipated in recent history.
Early on, Marquez was among the contenders for the post, alongside other senior officials. (READ: The PNP chief and the problems he will face)
It was only in the past few weeks that Marquez emerged as the leading contender.
Prior to being appointed chief of the Directorate of Operations (DO), Marquez was regional director of the Ilocos regional police office. Before that, he was chief of the Nueva Ecija provincial police office.
Marquez was the DO's deputy chief, and played a key role in preparing the PNP for the 2013 midterm elections.
As DO chief, Marquez headed preparations for Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines in January 2015. He also currently heads the PNP’s plans for the ongoing APEC Summit meetings.
The PNP's plans for the coming 2016 elections are currently being ironed out and as DO chief, Marquez is one of the many officials leading preparations.
His experience in planning major events – a midterm election included – will come in handy, since the 2016 presidential elections was a huge factor in the President’s selection process.
Aquino wanted a PNP chief who will outlast his own term and still be in service during and after the elections.
Marquez is retiring in August 2016 yet, when he turns the mandatory retirement age of 56. Garbo will be retiring in March 2016, or just as the official campaign period for national posts begins. Constantino will retire in July 2016.
Roxas, speaking to reporters on Tuesday, was all praises for Marquez.
"Matibay po ang aking kumpiyansa kay Director Marquez na ipagpapatuloy niya ang mga pagbabago, mga katinuan, mga kaayusan na umiiral sa ngayon sa PNP (We have faith that Director Marquez will continue the changes and reforms in the PNP) and he will take this to higher and better heights," he said.
Marquez is a product of the public school system.
He graduated salutatorian at the Tulay Elementary School and was the valedictorian of his batch from the Bucal Barangay High School. He ranked #16 in his PMA class.
For his graduate studies, Marquez earned a Masters Degree in Management at the Philippine Christian Academy.
The announcement of Marquez as PNP chief comes more than 7 months since the former chief, Director General Alan Purisima was preventively suspended by the Ombudsman over his alleged involvement in a dubious deal between the Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) and courier service Werfast.
Purisima eventually stepped down as PNP chief in February 2015 in the aftermath of “Oplan Exodus,” a botched police operation which claimed the lives of more than 60 people, including 44 of the PNP’s own men.
In late June, Purisima and several other police officials – including Chief Superintendent Raul Petrasanta, previously considered a shoo-in for PNP chief – were dismissed by the Ombudsman over the Werfast deal.
Aquino had previously asked for the public’s patience as he picked a new PNP chief because he was not prepared to do so until November 2015, or Purisima’s scheduled retirement. The President, said he needed time to sort through the mudslinging in the PNP before picking his next chief.
Marquez is not without his share of controversies.
Sources from within and outside the PNP have suggested that Marquez is Purisima’s choice, allegedly so the latter can be shielded from the pending graft cases against him.
Police sources also pointed out to Rappler that although Marquez is not part of Purisima’s inner circle, the two generals have something in common: they are both Masons.
Marquez has a daunting task ahead.
Aside from the ongoing APEC Summit meetings and the 2016 elections, the police general will head a PNP still reeling from the effects of “Oplan Exodus” and sorting out factions within its commissioned ranks.
Preventing another Mamasapano and the divisions in the PNP were among the issues Aquino had asked Marquez and Constantino to write about during their June 17 meeting. – Rappler.com
Published 11:29 AM, July 14, 2015
Updated 5:48 PM, July 15, 2015