INTERIOR and Local Government Undersecretary for Peace and Order Rico E. Puno yesterday mentioned four names whom he thinks are qualified to take over the DILG post if Secretary Jesse Robredo heeds his detractors’ call to resign.
Interviewed on ANC network, Puno named former Philippine National Police chiefs Avelino Razon and Jesus Verzosa along with former Davao mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Jejomar Binay as strong contenders if the DILG post would be left vacant.
However, Puno was quick to say that he was not calling for Robredo’s resignation and does not want him to quit stressing he is doing his job quite well.
Besides, he and Robredo are working together contrary to reports that factionalism is dividing them.
Earlier, Robredo said, he and Puno are working under the umbrella of President Benigno Aquino dismissing speculations of a “turf war” between the “Balai Group” and the “Samar Group.”
When asked who he thinks would be a good secretary aside from Robredo, Puno said that Versoza would be most effective in the job.
He cited Verzosa’s good performance during his stint as chief of the PNP for almost two years.
Verzosa, Puno added, launched a transformation program in the PNP and raised the morale of the police officers.
“We will need somebody who will maintain the morale of the police,” the undersecretary said.
Joel dela Torre