PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Monday afternoon officially designated Lieutenant General Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan as the 24th chief of the Philippine National Police vice newly-retired Gen. Archie Francisco F. Gamboa.
The Commander-in-Chief also promoted Cascolan, a classmate of Gamboa from Philippine Military Academy ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986 to the rank of Police General effective yesterday.
The 4th member of PMA Class 1986 to be appointed as Chief,PNP by President Duterte, Gen. Cascolan vowed to ‘continue serving the Filipino people’ to the best of his ability and further intensify the PNP internal cleansing program, the war on drugs and most importantly, launch programs to further boost the morale and welfare of the 209,000-strong police force.
“Internal cleansing, war on drugs specifically going after high-value targets and boosting the morale and welfare of our people.” These are the top priorities of the new PNP chief who likewise stressed the need to greatly boost the morale of the police force to improve their performance.
Gen. Cascolan also said he wants more Drug Enforcement Units across the country whose members will be subjected to a thorough vetting.
TO REVAMP ORGANIZATION
Gen. Cascolan is expected to order a reshuffle of key PNP positions with the retirement of a number of senior officials this month, highly-reliable Journal Group sources said.
PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar is set to become the new PNP Deputy Chief for Administration and concurrent commander of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield while PNP Chief Directorial Staff, Lt. Gen. Cesar Hawthorne R. Binag will be the new PNP-DCO, the 3rd highest position in the police force.
Sources said the name of Major Gen. Joselito M. Vera Cruz, a classmate from PMA ‘Hinirang’ Class of 1987 of Eleazar and Binag is also being considered to become the new PNP-TCDS, the 4th highest position in the PNP.
The buzz in Camp Crame is that there will also be new PNPs Directors for Comptrollership, Operations, Personnel and Records Management, Information Communications and Technology Management , Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Firearms and Explosives Office and Crime Laboratory as well as a number of new PNP Regional Directors.
There will also be new PNP Directors for Investigation; Detective Management and Human Resource and Doctrine Development and Research and Development with the retirement of its respective heads, Maj. Gen. Elmo Francis O. Sarona this coming September 10; Maj. Gen. Amador V. Corpus today; and Maj. Gen. Timoteo G. Pacleb this coming September 23.
All three are also members of PMA Class 1986.
The RDs retiring are Brigadier Gen. Anthony S. Alcañeses of the Police Regional Office 5 in Bicol (today) and Brig. Gen. Joselito T. Esquivel Jr. of the PRO13 in Caraga region (September 17).
Gen. Cascolan was scheduled to hold his 1st command conference at 5 p.m. yesterday to announce his instuctions to his men. Before his appointment, the official was also the concurrent commander of the Administrative Support for COVID-19 Task Force.
He is a known disciplinarian and operations and intelligence officer and is largely credited as the ‘architect’ of the highly-successful Oplan: Double Barrel of the PNP or the national police’s campaign against illegal drug trafficking and abuse since the start of the Duterte administration in July 2016.
PNP spokesman, Brigadier Gen. Bernard M. Banac said that the “entire PNP Officers’ Corps’ is rallying behind the leadership of Gen. Cascolan. “The PNP Officer Corps and rank-and-file gladly welcome his designation as PNP chief to ensure continuity of command in the supervision of all administrative and operational execution of the PNP mission as the weight of responsibility of the PNP increases due to the pandemic and the threat of terrorism,” Banac said.
Cascolan will however retire this coming November 11.
“The momentum has been established for the next leader to push steadily forward towards a more productive and effective police service, and with the capabilities and expertise of General Cascolan, the PNP will surely continue to excel in preserving peace and order and security, especially in critical issues of illegal drugs, crime, terrorism and corruption,” Banac said.
According to Banac, “Gen. Cascolan brings with him the occupational specialty in command and control, honed by vast experience in field operations and strategic management.”
Officials earlier said that the new PNP chief must possess the competency and integrity to handle the job as he will be answerable to both the PNP’s internal and external audience. “He should have the dogged determination to do the job, the needed track record and service reputation, a ton of contribution to the country’s peace and order campaign, and most importantly, the loyalty to the Constitution and the duly-constituted authorities,” said a retired police general who requested anonymity.
Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año did not recommend the extension of Gen. Gamboa’s term after September 2 and stressed that the if he were to decide, the next PNP chief must have a good career pattern with no pending case in court.