President Rodrigo Roa Duterte yesterday admitted that he is finding it extremely difficult to chose the next Philippine National Police chief following the terminal resignation of General Oscar Albayalde.
Albayalde’s leave became effective yesterday, several days before his expected retirement on his birthday, November 8. The beleguered general decided to take on an early leave after the Senate recommended the filing of criminal charges against him for his reported complicity behind the Ninja cops controversy.
Duterte says he has not decided yet on who to choose between three high ranking generals. In a previous interview, Senator Bong Go, Duterte’s confidante, identified the contenders as Lieutenant General Archie Francisco Gamboa, Lieutenant General Camilo Cascolan and former NCRPO chief Major General Guillermo Eleazar.
These names were also the names submitted by DILG secretary Eduardo Ano to the president.
Gamboa and Cascolan are identified as belonging to a group called “Davao boys” while Eleasar is a crowd favorite for his outstanding performance as ex-NCRPO chief. Gamboa and Cascolan are mistahs, both belong to the PMA Class 1986 while Eleasar is an underclass, a proud member of PMA class 1987.
In an October 20 interview, Go surmised that Duterte may actually choose the most senior among the three.
Of the three candidates, Gamboa enjoys the trust and confidence of two of Duterte’s closest aides, former SAP and now Senator Go and neophyte Senator and former PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa.
Meanwhile, General Cascolan is an action man, an officer whose field expertise and operations skills may prove useful especially since the PNP continues on its mission of eradicating the drug menace in the Philippines.
Cascolan is highly credited for authoring the Double Barrel Operations campaign which is now being implemented by the police organization.
Albayalde and Cascolan got themselves at loggerheads when Cascolan changed the rules which Albayalde personally implemented in Metro Manila. Cascolan was demoted to a desk job only to resurface and resurrect his career as an operations man just recently.
Eleazar meanwhile, does not belong to Duterte’s inner circle and considered an outsider. While Gamboa is known more for his excellent administrative skills while Cascolan’s sterling record as an operations man preceeds him, Eleazar reportedly excel in both.
The only thing that would probably affect or influence Duterte’s decision not to hire Eleazar is his closeness with Albayalde.
Senators Richard Gordon and Panfilo Ping Lacson began their probe of an incident which involved Albayalde’s when he was still provincial director of Pampanga. Reports say Albayalde was PD when thirteen of his men got involved in a drug raid which reportedly led to the arrest of one Johnson Lee, the confiscation of 35 kilos of shabu and cash amounting to about 50 million pesos.
Questions why Albayalde did not recommend for the immediate termination of his men after an internal probe shows that these cops freed the suspect in exchange for 30 million pesos and worse, reportedly led to the distribution of the seized kilos of shabu back to the streets. A witness, former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) General and now Baguio mayor Benjamin Magalong described these cops as “Ninja cops”–a pejorative term which describes cops who arrest drug suspects and seize their contraband only to sell the stuff back to the streets themselves.