Day of reckoning for police commanders

January 28, 2020

THE most feared word among police officials nowadays is ‘Strike One,’ meaning you’re out  the 1st time, and no 2nd or 3rd time, in case you are literally weighed and found to be wanting when it comes to implementing PNP chief, General Archie Gamboa’s programs on drugs, crime, terrorism and corruption.

A few days from now, I also expect Gen. Gamboa to implement another reorganization of some key police positions including police regional offices which have scored low in their performance evaluation rating or the Individual Commander’s Evaluation Rating or ICER  and the Unit Performance Evaluation Rating  or UPER which are the basis of the PNP leadership in either retaining or relieving a police commander from his post.

I’ve been told that ICER is the over-all rating of the Regional Director coming from the total points of UPER, Directorial Staff rating and Focus Directives. Of the PNP UPER, on the other hand is the total points coming from the operational and administrative accomplishments of all the Divisions of all Police Regional Offices.

Gen. Gamboa is also embarking on a campaign against all forms of illegal gambling in the country amid complaints from the public regarding the local police’s failure to stop them. Thus, he has warned that all police commanders who will fail to curb down illegal gambling activities in their areas will be relieved under his ‘one-strike’ policy.

Just take note of these strong message from the PNP chief:  “I am serving notice to all police unit commanders that their actions in enforcing the campaign against corruption and crimes against public morals, particularly illegal gambling, shall weigh heavily in the succeeding rounds of individual performance evaluation to determine their competence to continue leading their respective units.”

When he assumed the top PNP post last week, Gen. Gamboa reiterated his ‘no-take policy too.  “I already gave my initial directives when I was the Officer-In-Charge. They are still my standing orders. I want to put emphasis on the “no take policy” in whatever form or material or monetary consideration from operators of illegal gambling, drug dealers, including any form of bribe or “kotong” from analogous illegal sources,” he emphasized.

So far, the first casualties of Gen. Gamboa’s ‘one-strike policy’ are the three ranking Police Regional Office 7 officials who were relieved from their respective posts for defying his order which bars them from playing golf during officer hours. I learned that the Armed Forces leadership has also followed suit and thus, active military officers have already shied away from the Camp Aguinaldo and Villamor Air Base golf ranges.

The PNP chief meant what he said when he declared on October 16 last year that there will be no more golf for all police officers and men during weekdays and nobody is exempted in his directive.  To send a very strong message to his men, he ordered the administrative relief of the three Central Visayas police officials who were monitored playing golf during weekdays in defiance of his ‘no-golf’ policy during working days.

Although himself is a golf player, Gen. Gamboa said he does not want the police to spend time playing golf from Monday to Friday. He also said that his decision has something to do with the “people” golf players in the PNP spend time with during their expensive golf games specifically politicians, businessmen and other VIPs who have interests in PNP matters.

So far, Gen. Gamboa had already completed his Command Group composed of PNP Deputy Chief for Administration, his mistah from PMA Class 1986, Lieutenant Gen. Pikoy Cascolan; PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, Lt. Gen. Gilor Eleazar; and PNP Chief Directorial Staff, Major Gen. and soon-to-be Lt. Gen. Cesar Binag. Eleazar, a classmate from PMA Class 1987 of Binag last week called on all officers and men of the 205,000-strong police force to give their all-out support to Gen. Gamboa’s order for them to continue their aggressive campaign against drugs, criminality and rogues in uniform. In short, the official is saying they should act as a Team and rally behind the PNP chief.

Gen. Gamboa said that he will be acting not just as the ‘Chief,PNP’ but as a father’ of the police force who will stand and support his men till the end if there are doing their job the right way. However, he vowed to reprimand, castigate or dismiss from the service all erring policemen. Do not be counted in the statistics of three policemen dismissed from the service daily. Likewise, as to personnel who are associated with illegal drugs, you will be treated with severe punishment,” the PNP chief said.

Apart from completing his Command Group, the PNP chief also designated erstwhile Highway Patrol Group director, Brig. Gen. Dionards Carlos of PMA Class 1988 as the new PNP Director for Information Communications Technology Management vice Binag and returned Brig. Gen. Ely Cruz of PMA Class 1990 to the HPG, three months after naming the latter as deputy chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

Cruz has buckled down to work and vowed another much aggressive crackdown against car thieves, hijackers and highway robbers in the country as the comebacking director of the ‘Guardians of the Highways.’ He also assured a no-nonsense internal cleansing program in the HPG  specifically in going after ‘kotong’ and the highly-irregular practice of using genuine HPG motor vehicle clearance under the so-called ‘non-appearance scheme.’

Cruz was replaced as CIDG’s no. 2 official by a worthy PNP Academy graduate, Colonel Rhoderick Armamento who will earn his star-rank with his new position. Armamento used to be the Deputy Regional Director for Operations of the Police Regional Office 3 in Central Luzon.

The PNP chief also designated Brig. Gen. Rex dela Rosa as the new Deputy Regional Director for Administration of the PRO3; and Co. Bernard Tamboan, another PNPA graduate as the new PRO12 DRDA in Central Mindanao vice dela Rosa of PMA Class 1989.

Also named to their new posts were Col. Nickson Muksan, the new PNP Training Service deputy director; Col. Vincent Calanoga, the new assistant chief of the PNP Human Rights Affairs Office; and Col. Ferlu Silvio, named to the Foreign Liaision Division of the PNP Directorate for Intelligence.