Jakarta. Newly inaugurated National Police chief Gen. Badrodin Haiti said the president had given him full authority in naming his upcoming deputy.
“The president has not instructed me on who should be deputy police chief,” Badrodin said at the National Police headquarters in Jakarta shortly after he was sworn in at the State Palace on Friday.
Badrodin was responding to speculation that Joko and members of his inner circle were pushing for the president’s initial choice for police chief, Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan, to become Badrodin’s deputy.
Several members of the House of Representatives also openly encouraged Badrodin to choose Budi, during his confirmation hearing on Thursday.
Budi, a former security aide to former president and Joko’s political patron Megawati Soekarnoputri, was nominated as police chief in January, but a widespread public outcry over his suspected involvement in a graft case forced Joko to cancel his inauguration.
Badrodin, the former police deputy chief before becoming the country’s top cop, said the now-vacant post would be decided by the Wanjakti — a police committee that vets and approves candidates for senior positions.
“The Wanjakti will convene soon. The National Police deputy post will still be vacant. What is clear is that all three-star [police generals] will be eligible,” he said.
Budi is just one of nine potential candidates, who also include Budi Waseso, chief of the National Police’s detectives unit; security chief Putut Eko Bayu Seno; National Defense Institute governor Boy Salamuddin; and anti-narcotics chief Anang Iskandar.
Intelligence chief Djoko Mukti Haryono; National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) chief Saud Usman Nasution; Comr. Gen. Dwi Priyatno, chief of the National Police’s general supervision inspectorate; and former chief of detectives Suhardi Alius are also eligible.
When asked whom he preferred as his number two, Badrodin said, “Anyone of them suits me just fine.”
Badrodin on Monday will summon all provincial and district police chiefs from across the country for his first briefing as police chief, during which he is expected to outline his programs.
Badrodin is pushing for more cooperation with other law enforcement agencies, including the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
Ties between police and the KPK soured when the latter charged Budi with bribery just days after he was nominated for the police chief post.
“We will assist [the KPK]. We will back them up completely. No matter how many [police] investigators they want to recruit, we will happily supply,” Badrodin said.
“Eradicating corruption is not the responsibility of the KPK alone. It is the responsibility of all law enforcers.”
Law expert Bambang Widodo Umar said Badrodin should first focus on eradicating corruption inside the force, named as Indonesia’s most corrupt institution according to surveys by Transparency International.
“Prioritize internal reforms. [Badrodin] needs to improve supervision and show no tolerance when officers are suspected of corruption,” he said.
State Secretary Pratikno confirmed that Joko wanted to see Badrodin focus on the same issue. The president “has high hopes that the new police chief will bring changes [to the force],” the minister said. “The president has firmly instructed the new police chief to reform the police institution.”
Indonesia Corruption Watch deputy coordinator Emerson Yuntho said part of the reform effort was “to keep troublesome officers away from strategic posts,” arguing that Budi should not be the next police deputy chief.