IT looks like Philippine National Police Officer-in-Charge, Lieutenant General Archie Gamboa will remain in his post until the next three weeks unless of course President Duterte makes up his mind and finally picks his 3rd PNP chief vice Gen. Oscar Albayalde.
This after the President did not make any announcement on his Chief,PNP pick during the joint PNP-AFP command conference at the Presidential Palace on Monday evening. Instead, he ordered the PNP-OIC which he simply calls ‘Archie’ to finish the procurement of their Body-Worn Cameras before December 10 or he will take over the project to acquire the gadget.
Dozens of police generals were present during the command conference—from Lt. Gen. Gamboa and the other known candidates to become the 23rd PNP chief: PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, Lt. Gen. Pikoy Cascolan and PNP Chief Directorial Staff, Major General Gilor Eleazar.
There were also the different heads of PNP Directorial Staff, directors of PNP national support units and the 17 police regional office directors, two of them Calabarzon police director, Brigadier Gen. Vic Danao and Southern Mindanao police director, Brig. Gen. Filmore Escobal, both members of PMA ‘Sambisig’ Class of 1991 whose names have also been mentioned as contenders for the top PNP post.
Add to the audience some classmates of Gen. Eleazar from PMA ‘Hinirang’ Class of 1987 and PNP Academy graduate, Brig. Gen. Gilbert Cruz whose names have also cropped up as possible C,PNP contenders. However, I was told by several sources that there was no cause for celebration yet among any of the contenders since the Commander-in-Chief did not make any announcement.
By the way it looks, Gen. Gamboa will remain as PNP-OIC until December 10, the President’s deadline for him to finish the procurement of the body cameras. It means that Gen. Gamboa is ‘surviving day-by-day, week by week’ and must continue to lead the PNP in the next three weeks. As they always say, the ‘show must go on.’
TOUGH PNP WEAPONS’ STANDARD NOW WORLD-FAMOUS
Believe it or not but tough PNP weapons’ standard have caught the attention of world-famous gun manufacturers that they are now boasting that if the Philippine police force have purchased their firearms, there is no reason for other countries not to buy their guns too.
“I think that our standard 20,000 endurance test is now a byword in the international community since other countries only require 6,000 to 10,000 ammo tests. These foreign weapons’ manufacturers are now boasting of our weapons’ standard,” my friend, PNP Director for Logistics, Major General Edwin Roque told me last week.
I learned that the PNP has one of the toughest firearm quality test. As part of the bidding requirement, firearms’ suppliers around the world are required to submit a random sample of their product to a series of tests which include dropping a loaded firearm two-meters above the ground, the so-called ‘salt test,’ the ‘mud test’ and the ‘water immersion test.
The ‘drop,’ ‘salt,’ water’ and ‘mud’ tests are all part of the series of adverse tests aimed at testing the quality of the assault rifles and semi-automatic pistols being offered for sale by the proponents and see if it still can fire despite being subjected to those adverse conditions.
It is then followed by the 20,000 endurance test in which the same weapon is made to fire 20,000 live ammunition before being subjected to a metallurgy test to determine if cracks on the guns’ main parts developed as a result of the adverse condition.
A lawyer, Roque told me that the weapons being subjected to adverse and endurance tests are picked from the main bulk of the product to be sold. To illustrate, he said that if there are 4,000 guns to be procured, 200 of them are being randomly picked with two subjected to the series of quality tests.
The strict PNP weapons’ standard has attracted the attention of suppliers from Turkey, Brazil, Israel, China and the United States. “We believe that the new weapons we have procured will outlive their end-users, that they will still be working efficiently even though their first users have long retired. If there would be any problem, it would be just some broken gun sights or springs,” Roque said.
On Monday, the PNP leadership unveiled more than P3 billion worth of brand-new equipment including two training helicopters, patrol vehicles and trucks and pistols, automatic rifles and machine guns needed by the force in its anti-criminality and anti-terror and insurgency campaign.
The pieces of equipment procured by the National Headquarters Bids and Awards Committee headed by PNP Comptroller, Major Gen. Joevic Ramos include two R44 Training Helicopters which will be used by the PNP Special Action Force-Air Unit; 21 units of EOD/K9 patrol vehicles; 34 units of brand-new utility trucks; 2,001 units of Taurus 9mm Striker-Fired pistols; 6,353 units of Tisas 9MM Striker-Fired pistols and 10,000 units of Canik 9mm Striker-Fired pistols.
Add to the list 12,992 units of Galil 5.56mm Basic Assault Rifles; 1,677 units of K2C1 5.56mm Basic Assault Rifles; 205 units of K3 5.56mm Light Machine guns; eight units of Negev5 5.56mm light machine guns; 141 units of Negev7 7.62mm light machine guns; 51 units of Rotary Blade/Propelled Wing UAV; and 7,924 units of Enhanced Combat Helmet Level III.