Rank lift keeps Budi’s grip on police

BINTANGNEWS.com – The promotion of Budi Gunawan to four-star police general following his appointment as chief of the National Intelligence Agency (BIN) has raised concerns over the spy agency overshadowing the work of the police.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo left the public in the dark, again, over his reason for awarding Budi the police institution’s highest rank, seeming to be unaware of a potential power struggle between Budi and National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian.
A senior to Tito and serving as the police’s deputy chief for over a year, Budi is known to have a strong influence within the security institution. Now that he holds top post in the spy agency, he may get better leverage in the two institutions and confront Tito with his own agenda.
Police analyst Bambang Widodo Umar was one of those who questioned Budi’s promotion, saying that a BIN chairman need not always be a four-star general, and that either the person should come from the police or the military and, thus, making Budi a four-star general might raise suspicions that BIN controls the police.
“As the BIN chief and a four-star police general, Budi must not feel superior to the head of the National Police. It is worrying, but I hope that no such worries will matter. Both institutions must remain on the same level,” said Bambang, adding, “BIN must only act as coordinator of intelligence bodies, including that of the police, instead of overpowering any of them.”
Such a concern also emerged due to the politically driven process behind Budi’s promotion rather than focusing on his competence. Jokowi’s decision to eventually submit to the demand of ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri was seen as a payoff for blocking Budi from being the top cop last year.
Thus, Bambang reminded that Budi should stay away from political interests and avoid serving political parties, although it would not be easy, as Budi is close to Megawati.
“Budi has a lot of tasks ahead in leading the intelligence body, particularly in building better communications and coordination between similar institutions amid the country’s unstable political and economic conditions and weak defense system,” Bambang said. “So it is better for him to keep himself away from political interests.”
Among the tasks awaiting both institutions is counterterrorism. The government and the House of Representatives are currently deliberating an amendment to the existing law on counterterrorism in order to regulate the roles of the respective institutions in dealing with the threats of terrorism.
Mufti Makarim from the Institute for Defense, Security and Peace Studies also shared the concern of the possibility of BIN jeopardizing the work of the police under the very influential Budi.
“What is needed now is a guarantee to eliminate any possible way for Budi to use his position as an active four-star general to meddle with the police.”
Mufti emphasized that a commitment from Budi to restrain himself from misusing his influence in the police was also important. “Because with or without the promotion, he is already powerful and influential there,” he said.
He himself did not see a reason for Budi’s promotion from three-star general, but assumed that it might support his leadership particularly when dealing with the military general in BIN.
“Thus for me it’s a political promotion,” Mufti said. “Will it impact the work of BIN when dealing with its counterparts along the process? It may be so, especially when dealing with extraordinary crimes. However, only time will tell.”
The Palace, like State Secretary Pratikno and presidential spokesman Johan Budi, however, remained tight-lipped over Jokowi’s decision to grant Budi Gunawan the highest rank in the police force.***
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Editing: T. Bintang

source: Thejakartapost

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