MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte is accordingly having a hard time finding an honest and capable officer that he will name as new Philippine National Police chief.
“He is still looking (for an honest PNP chief),” Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go was quoted as saying Wednesday (13 November 2019).
It’s been nearly a month and Duterte has not yet appointed a new PNP chief after beleaguered former police chief Oscar Albayalde went on terminal leave on October 14 before he retired from the service on November 8 after being involved in the shady operations of so-called “ninja cops” or a band police officers who sold illegal drugs seized during an operation in Pampanga in 2013.
“It’s the prerogative of the President to choose from one-star general to three-star generals now at the PNP hierarchy,” said Go said when asked if the choices are limited to the top three police officials at the PNP.
“Wala pa po, hanggang ngayon, wala pa siyang pinipili,” said Go who was Duterte’s former special assistant.
The President is in the middle of helping the PNP recover low morale and to reflect and seek ways to clean up their ranks.
“Hinayaan na muna niya na linisin nila ang gusot at yung dumi dyan sa loob,” Go said.
The PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has since filed criminal charges against Albayalde as the latter is allegedly linked to the missing shabu worth of P648 million confiscated and sold by the suspected “ninja cops.”
CIDG officials lodged their amended complaint before the prosecutors’ panel of the Department of Justice (DOJ), which included Albayalde as well as the 13 original police officers tagged as ninja cops.
Police Supt. Col. Rodney Baloyo IV, Senior Inspector Joven de Guzman Jr., Senior Police Officer 1 Jules Maniago, SPO1 Donald Roque, SPO1 Ronald Santos, SPO1 Rommel Muñoz Vital, SPO1 Alcindor Tinio, SPO1 Dante Dizon, SPO1 Eligio Valeroso, Police Officer 3 Dindo Dizon, PO3 Gilbert de Vera, PO3 Romeo Guerrero Jr. and Police Officer 2 Anthony Lacsamana are among the 13 other respondents.
The DOJ ordered a re-investigation of the controversial conduct of the 13 police officers who were then under Albayalde, who in 2013 was Pampanga Police Provincial Administrator.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said last Monday that Duterte’s going on a three-day break.
Had Panelo not withdrawn his comment, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea would have been named as officer-in-charge.
Alternatively, Panelo said the chief executive will work from home in Davao City and no caretaker is required.
“He continues to work. Even if you say he will not be here for three days, he might just show up and travel to Jolo or Zamboanga to visit the troops,” he said.
“In fact, the President does not want to rest. Even if you say he was advised by the doctor to rest, he doesn’t want to rest. He does not want to stay at home for long because he wants to work,” Panelo said.
The PNP is now headed by Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa as officer-in-charge and at the same time Administrative Deputy Chief of PNP.
Gamboa, along with PNP deputy chief of operations Lt. Gen. Camilo Pancratius Cascolan and chief of staff, Major Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, is one of the candidates for the top police post.
The newly appointed National Capital Region Police Office Chief Gen. Debold Sinas, Southern Tagalog Regional Police Chief Gen. Vicente Danao, Region 11 Police Chief Gen. Filmore Escobal, Central Luzon Chief Brig. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia and Gen. Gilbert Cruz are among the emerging competitors. (Cate Pallarco/IAMIGO/CNS)