PHILIPPINE National Police officer-in-charge Leonardo Espina said Monday that he is not interested in entering politics after his mandatory retirement in July.

Espina will hang up his police uniform on July 16 as he turns 56, the mandatory retirement age for policemen and soldiers.

“I’m really a private person and it's about time for me to go back to my family. I only have 20 years to live maybe (I'll reach) siguro 76 or 80. It's about time to see my family and see them well,” he said when asked if he has plans of seeking elective office.

Will he consider an appointive position in government instead?

“I don’t know. I’m just an ordinary PNP officer,” Espina said.

Espina tendered his resignation to President Benigno Aquino III last March to give way to the appointment of a regular PNP chief.

After graduating from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in 1981, Espina was assigned at the Philippine Constabulary, the precursor of the PNP.

Espina held several positions in the PNP such as the Public Information Office (PIO) head where he got his first star rank, director of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) and chief of the National Capital Region Police Office.

He was promoted to Chief Directorial Staff, Deputy Chief for Operations, and later on PNP officer-in-charge in place of PMA batchmate, then Police Director General Alan Purisima.

Purisima was suspended last December for six months for entering into an anomalous carrier service contract with Werfast Documentary Agency in 2011 for the delivery of firearms license cards.

Espina gained the public’s respect for passionately demanding for justice for 44 of his men who died in a bungled anti-terror operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last January 25.

Espina, along with Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, was kept out of the loop in the implementation of the operation to arrest terrorists Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, and Abdul Basit Usman.

Marwan died in the raid while Basit Usman was killed last month following a clash with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters, who were primarily blamed for the deaths of the elite cops. (Sunnex)