Police should work as team to rise again

October 23, 2019

AS I have been repeatedly saying and I have no doubt it will happen, the Philippine National Police will rise again from the ashes like the proverbial Phoenix but to regain its lost glory as a result of the ‘Ninja Cops’ controversy, its officers and men should work and function like a well-oiled and well-coached basketball TEAM.

It’s like climbing up from a huge 30-point deficit with a quarter left in an NBA or a  PBA finals. A famous team captain like Michael Jordan or Alvin Patrimonio cannot do it alone and he needs all the help he can get from his supporting cast to overcome the opponent’s huge advantage and win the game in the end.

I’m writing this in the wake of PNP Officer-in-Charge, Lieutenant General Archie Gamboa’s decision to implement a major PNP reorganization which affected over 20 senior officials and raised a lot of eyebrows in Camp Crame.

Many of my friends who were affected by the reshuffle told me that they were informed of their impending relief by a friend from the PNP Directorate for Personnel and Records Management,  Colonel Belli Tamayo of PMA Class 1992. Tamayo could not answer the questions raised by those affected since he was only tasked to inform them of the PNP changes, I learned.

Several of my sources told me that one of those affected by the ‘massive PNP rigodon,’ Brigadier General Loy Morales of PMA Class 1987 questioned Gen. Gamboa’s decision during their command conference last Sunday. A known ‘Davao Boy’ too just like Gen. Gamboa and PNP Deputy Chief for Operation, Lt. Gen. Pikoy Cascolan,  Morales was the erstwhile Police Regional Office 11 director in Southern Mindanao.

I was told that Morales was very vocal in the move to transfer him to the Police Security and Protection Group but when PSPG director, Brig. Gen. Filmore Escobal of PMA Class 1991 told Gamboa that he is willing to stay on his post and not replace Morales at PRO11, the latter relented. After his voice was heard, Morales asked to shake the hands of the PNP-OIC and gave him a hug.

On Monday, Gen. Gamboa said the order came from President but added that  ‘whatever will be the final outcome, I will take full responsibility.” The PNP-OIC issued the statement as he defended his decision to effect a massive revamp of key PNP positions.

He said that having been given the power by the Napolcom to designate officials in key positions, the new appointess will be under a 3-month probation to see if they will retain or leave their posts.

My sources told me that President Duterte himself wanted a PNP revamp when he presided over a joint PNP-Armed Forces command conference in Malacañang last week. However, some told me that they thought that the President wanted the replacement of officials  whose names, in one way or another were dragged into the ‘Ninja Cops’ controversy which led to the resignation of Gen. Oscar Albayalde.

Thus, the reshuffle ‘shocked’ many officials who were not informed beforehand of their impending relief. One general even told me that they were banking on Gamboa’s statement on the day he assumed his position as PNP-OIC that “all designations would remain in status quo.’ However, I told him ‘that’s life.’

Gamboa actually made history last Sunday since he became the 1st PNP-OIC to order a massive reshuffle of his generals. On Monday, he confirmed that he made the decision following consultations with some officials including his mistahs from PMA Class 1986, PNP Director for Personnel, Major Gen. Lyndon Cubos and  PNP Director for Comptrollership, Maj. Gen. Joevic Ramos, new PNP Chief Directorial Staff, Maj. Gen. Gilor Eleazar of PMA Class 1987 and PNP Director for Police-Community Relations, Maj. Gen. Bong Durana of PMA Class 1988.

Gen. Cascolan was not around during that meeting. However, on Monday morning, I saw Generals Gamboa, Cascolan and Cubos and their PMA Class 1986 classmates, new PNP Director for Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Mariel Magaway and Maj. Gen. Elmo Sarona of the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management in a serious huddle before they met the press.

During the press con, Gen. Gamboa explained that all new appointees must take full responsibility in the entire implementation process of all their law enforcement campaigns and added he expect ‘fresh ideas, fresh enthusiasm and fresh resolve’ from his new commanders.