Members of women's group Gabriela join religious and civil society organizations in forming a human chain along E. Rodriguez Avenue in Quezon City on Friday to commemorate the 40 days of the Mamasapano incident. The activity was one of several events calling for peace in Mindanao. (MNS photo)

Members of women’s group Gabriela join religious and civil society organizations in forming a human chain along E. Rodriguez Avenue in Quezon City on Friday to commemorate the 40 days of the Mamasapano incident. The activity was one of several events calling for peace in Mindanao. (MNS photo)

MANILA  (Mabuhay) – The President has asked his legal team to study how to deal with having to appoint a Philippine National Police (PNP) chief even while a four-star general is still on active duty in the police organization.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the President is aware that the PNP chief has to have four stars but there can only be one four-star general at a time.

“Normally, when a person is appointed, nae-elevate siya to the position and the rank especially in the rank. Pero ang problema ho ngayon, the position is vacant but the rank is not so that has to be looked into as well,” Valte said.

Director General Alan Purisima has resigned as chief of the PNP following the Mamasapano incident. He, however, has not yet retired or left service.

Matagal na hong pinapatingnan din ng Pangulo ‘yan. Remember the former chief of the PNP is retiring November pa of this year. So, yes, that is an issue that is being studied,” Valte said.

Asked if the President would appoint an officer-in-charge instead, she said, “The President is quite aware of the urgencies of appointing a chief PNP.”

The Palace also assuaged fears that Aquino will appoint a PNP chief friendly to the Liberal Party (LP) ostensibly in preparation for the 2016 elections.

“I can assure you that whenever the President interviews or is in search of candidates for a particular position, what he has in mind is the qualifications of any candidate as well the demands of the office that is supposed to be filled,” Valte said.

Among those being reportedly eyed by Aquino to replace Purisima is directorial staff chief Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr.

Garbo reportedly earned the trust of Aquino for his handling of the controversial suspension of Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia during his term as regional director of Central Visayas. (MNS)