President Rodrigo Duterte has already decided on who will replace General Debold Sinas as next chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Malacañang said on Monday.

But Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque refused to reveal Sinas’ successor, noting that an appointment paper has yet to reach his desk.

“I know he (Duterte) has made a decision but I’m not at liberty to announce anything unless I have the appointment paper and this is a well-established practice of my office,” he said in a Palace press briefing.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año earlier said he has forwarded to Duterte his one-name list on who would succeed Sinas, who will retire on May 8 after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56.

“I already submitted to the President my recommendation for the next Chief PNP after the retirement of Gen. Debold Sinas through Napolcom (National Police Commission) Resolution No. 2021-0469. The recommendation has only one name. But the President has the prerogative also to choose anyone with a rank of at least brigadier general in the PNP force,” Año said on Friday.

He did not name who he recommended but this police officer is likely a member of the PNP Command Group that includes Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, deputy chief for administration; Lt. Gen. Joselito Vera Cruz, deputy chief for operations; and Lt. Gen. Ephraim Dickson, chief of the directorial staff.

Duterte designated Sinas in November last year to replace then PNP Chief Gen. Camilo Cascolan.

In a press briefing at Camp Crame in Quezon City, Sinas said he believed he was able to deliver as PNP chief.

“I believe we have been able to deliver more than what we promised to the President and the public, simply because everyone kept faith in me, from the highest officer in our headquarters to the last beat patroller on the streets,” Sinas said.

He said he was “truly thankful” that he was able to overcome obstacles during his stint as the country’s top cop.

Sinas earlier said all PNP generals are capable enough to lead the police force.

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