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Año to submit shortlist of PNP chief bets before August 31

INTERIOR Secretary Eduardo Año on Saturday said he will submit to President Rodrigo Duterte the shortlist of candidates for the country’s top cop post on the last week of August.

“Around last week of August ako mag-submit (ng list),”Año told the Philippine News Agency in a text message.

Asked on possible names on the shortlist, he said all officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) with star-rank can be considered for the post which will be vacated by Gen. Archie Gamboa upon his retirement on September 2.

“Lahat naman ng three-star ranks ay candidates at priority sa pagpipilian. Depende naman kay PRRD,” he added.

Among the possible contenders for PNP chief are Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan, deputy chief for administration and head of the Administrative Support to COVID-19 Operations Task Force (ASCOTF); Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, deputy chief for operations and commander of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield; and Lt. Gen. Cesar Hawthorne Binag, chief of the PNP directorial staff.

Cascolan, a batchmate of Gamboa in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 1986, will mandatorily retire upon turning 56 in November.

Meanwhile, Binag and Eleazar, who are both from the PMA Class 1987, will retire in April and November 2021, respectively.

Gamboa earlier declined to comment on talks of his possible successor, saying he is focused on his present tasks as PNP chief.

Gamboa took over as PNP officer in charge in October last year, replacing Gen. Oscar Albayalde who stepped down from his post amid the controversy on an anti-drug operation during his stint as Pampanga police chief in 2013.

He was eventually appointed by the President as PNP chief in January.

Gamboa earned his Bachelor of Laws degree at the Jose Rizal University and passed the Bar exams in 2004.

He also served as chief of the PNP directorial staff in 2017 and as deputy chief for administration in 2019. PNA