President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has extended the service of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Benjamin Acorda Jr. until March next year, Malacañang announced on Monday.
“I wish to inform you that, pursuant to the provisions of existing laws, your service as Chief (Police General), Philippine National Police, is hereby extended until 31 March 2024,” said Marcos in a letter to Acorda, as stated in a Presidential Communications Office (PCO) news release.
Acorda's term was supposed to have ended on Sunday, December 3, when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 56. He was appointed PNP chief on April 24 this year.
According to the PCO, Acorda's term has been extended “given that [Acorda] has successfully led the police force since his appointment in April this year.”
“Acorda has led the PNP to focus on an agenda for a more effective police force such as the Personnel Morale and Welfare, Community Engagement, Integrity Enhancement, ICT Development and Honest Law Enforcement Operations,” the PCO said.
The 29th to hold the PNP chief position, Acorda thanked Marcos for extending his stint.
"I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. I am truly honored and humbled by his continued trust and confidence in my capability," he said in a speech during the flag-raising ceremony in Camp Crame on Monday morning.
The Office of the President cited Executive Order No. 136, series of 1999 in extending Acorda’s term.
According to the PCO, the EO recognized the power of the President to approve the extension of service of presidential appointees beyond the compulsory retirement age for exemplary meritorious reasons.
In 2018, then President Rodrigo Duterte extended the term of office of then PNP chief and now Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa for three months.
Other PNP chiefs whose terms had been extended were Leandro Mendoza for nine months in 2002 and Edgar Aglipay for six months in 2004 under former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
There have been proposals prescribing a fixed term of office for the PNP chief but Congress has yet to approve it.
However, Republic Act No. 11709 granting the Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff and other top military officials a maximum tour of duty of three consecutive years has been signed in May 2022 by then President Duterte.
In May 2023, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr signed Republic Act 11939 amending RA 11709 and providing a two-year fixed term to other key officials except the AFP chief of staff who will still have a three-year fixed term.—Joviland Rita/KBK/AOL, GMA Integrated News