Taking their oath before speaking at the Senate hearing on the Mamasapano incident are PDDG. Leonardo Espina, Officer-in-Charge of the Philippine National Police, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. (MNS photo)

Taking their oath before speaking at the Senate hearing on the Mamasapano incident are PDDG. Leonardo Espina, Officer-in-Charge of the Philippine National Police, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – The incoming Philippine National Police chief will still serve in an acting capacity until the retirement of resigned PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima in November.

At a press briefing on Thursday, PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr. explained that there could only be one four-star rank official, which is required to have full police chief capacity.

He said that Purisima currently holds the four-star rank, which is the highest rank in the PNP, despite resigning from the position on Feb. 6.

He resigned after being embroiled in a controversy over the Mamasapano operation, which cost the lives of 44 PNP Special Action Force commandos.

Critics have alleged that Purisima was the one in charge of the operation even though he was under suspension by the Ombudsman in connection with a graft case at the time planning and execution. He has since denied the allegations, claiming that he was merely advice.

A member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1981, Purisima will reach the mandatory retirement age of 56 on Nov. 21, 2015.

Prerogative niya kung kailan niya gustong mag-retire,” Cerbo said. “Hindi naman siya pwede i-force retirement.”

The current head, PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, has been serving in an acting capacity since Purisima’s suspension in December.

Espina is retiring this July. He is a PMA classmate of Purisima. (MNS)