LIEUTENANT General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa officially takes over today as the country’s 23rd Philippine National Police chief with a stepped-up internal cleansing program as foremost in his mind.
The tough job of ridding the 195,000-strong force of misfits and scalawags happen to be a main concern of the lawyer-member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986 since the entire Filipino nation led by President Duterte is much concerned with the problem.
Describing him as ‘very qualified for the job,’ Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año said he expects Gen. Gamboa ‘to work harder now that he is the permanent Chief PNP and lead the organization in its intensified fight against illegal drugs, criminalities, communist terrorist groups and extremists.’
“I also expect that he would continue to cleanse the PNP ranks of scalawags. And I enjoined the whole police force to rally behind PLt Gen Gamboa, enforce the law without fear or favor and protect the people,” the DILG chief said.
PNP spokesman, Brigadier General Bernard M. Banac, said the PNP welcomes the decision of President Duterte to appoint the erstwhile PNP Officer-in-Charge as the new PNP chief.
“Under the able leadership of PLt Gen. Gamboa, we assure the public that the PNP remains committed to intensify the campaign against criminality, illegal drugs and corruption, following the rule of law and with utmost respect for human rights, and vigorously pursue internal cleansing to weed the ranks of rogue cops, all towards winning back the trust and confidence of the people,” Banac said.
The 3rd member of PMA Class 1986 to become a PNP chief after now Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa and resigned PNP chief, Gen. Oscar D. Albayalde, Gamboa marked his 3rd month as PNP-OIC last January 14 and said he was ‘surprised but happy’ with the President’s trust and confidence on him.
For his part, National Police Commission vice chairman, lawyer Rogelio Casurao said that “eradicating the culture of wrongdoing” in the police force should be the top priority of Gen. Gamboa.
“If people are corrupt-free, then all the other programs in law enforcement will follow suit. For instance, the drug problem will succeed because corruption is no longer part of it,” the official said.
“To me, this I think is the point being driven out by President [Rodrigo Duterte], try to reform your ways in the PNP. Try to eradicate the culture of corruption. Try to eradicate the culture of wrongdoing because all other programs will have to succeed because people who are in the organization are free of any ill-intent in the government,” Casurao said in referring to the President’s repeated admonition of the police force.
According to the President, he was impressed by Gamboa’s sincerity while he served as both Officer-in-Charge and PNP Deputy Chief for Administration over the past three months.
“You showed me your sincerity. And I’d like to leave you something for which you will be remembered by the country,” the President publicly told Gamboa during a gathering in Davao City.
The new PNP chief is known as the ‘Architect’ of dozens of graft-free and successful procurement programs in the police force since the start of the Duterte administration. The DILG-PNP also have explained that when the PNP was stripped of its procurement power last week by President Duterte, it was only proposing to buy a Micro Digital Photo/Video Laser Tech Speedy System which is similar to the ones being used at NLEX, SCTEX and STAR Toll and cost around P1 million.
Officials said some intelligence officials wrongly mistook the high-tech system to an ordinary speed gun which cost about US200 abroad.
An expert in paper work, Gen. Gamboa is expected to do good in managing the PNP’s logistical and financial concerns while making reforms in its operational programs.
Journal Group sources said that shortly after he took over as PNP-OIC last October, Gen. Gamboa made the following instructions to his top officials: the creation of Regional Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group in all 17 police regional offices to help the Camp Crame-based PNP-IMEG headed by Colonel Ronald O. Lee go after rogues in uniform; the need to study the PNP policy on summary hearings; the need to amend PNP policy on operations; and the major need to evaluate the PNP watch list on drugs and rogue cops and the PNP promotion system.
With his official appointment, Gen. Gamboa, a known badminton enthusiast, will serve as PNP chief until he retires this coming September 2. He actually will lead the PNP for nearly a year since he has been the PNP-OIC since last October 14 and had marked his 3rd month as PNP-OIC last January 14.