The more time it takes for the President to decide on who to choose as the new Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the more dirty politics infects itself into the police organization.
This is an observation shared by a source who worries that the jockeying of certain personalities for the post is causing demoralization among the ranks. Some of the candidates reportedly are negotiating with political power centers reportedly to influence the President’s decision.
Such political maneuverings are dangerous because it opens the possibility of some of these officials to enter into shady deals with these political centers, usually favors that ease state intervention in illicit activities, such as, jueteng and smuggling.
That is why the PNP and the AFP should be shielded from politics since this exposes them to activities that compromise their duties in law enforcement. State security agencies must exercise political neutrality and avoid being influenced also by business interests.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is taking his sweet time right now after the debacle which happened that involved former PNP chief Oscar Albayalde. Duterte just admitted in an interview that he felt “blindsided” by his closest aides when he appointed Albayalde who, unknown to him, had a prior and serious involvement with a drug-related case when he was still provincial director of Pampanga.
That explains his lack of self-confidence right now to choose Albayalde’s replacement. It takes a while to gather intelligence information on officials listed by Interior secretary Eduardo Ano as possible candidates for the PNP top plum.
Albayalde’s name came entangled with the controversy involving ninja cops, which forced him to tender his early retirement, and caused the appointment of General Archie Gamboa, Albayalde’s mistah, as Officer in Charge of the police organization.
Sources say Gamboa is using his position right now to “neutralize” other possible candidates to the PNP post. Just recently, Gamboa asked police generals to tender their courtesy resignations, a move reportedly supported by the National Police Commission (NPC).
Gamboa is a candidate for the top post, along side his mistah, General Cascolan and underclass, Guillermo Eleazar. Several also mentioned the name of NCRPO chief General Debold Sinas who reportedly enjoys the confidence of Senator Ronald ‘Bato” dela Rosa and General Danao who formerly headed Manila’s police district.
Sinas name got some notoriety after more than 300 cops raided the Vallacar bus terminals in Dumaguete and Bacolod after he reportedly sided with the bus company’s ousted president. Sinas’ move reportedly went against Albayalde’s orders for cops not to get themselves involved in intra-corporate politics.
Danao, Gamboa and Cascolan, meanwhile, composed a closely knit group of police officials reportedly close to President Duterte, as they served him in various capacities during the time that he was mayor of Davao City. Cascolan is best known for authoring the anti-drugs campaign Double Barrel, which is the basis for the current operational strategy of the PNP.
Eleazar is the only one among the candidates who did not have the opportunity of working with Duterte. However, what he lacked in political influence, Eleazar made do with his extraordinary performance as NCRPO chief, both in terms of administration and operational effectiveness.