DRUGS, ROGUE COPS IN GAMBOA’S SIGHTS

January 20, 2020

New PNP chief vows massive campaign.

NEW Philippine National Police chief General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa yesterday officially assumed his post with an assurance to the public that there would be a more aggressive but lawful crackdown on illegal drug trafficking and rogues in uniform.

“This is my first public appearance since President Rodrigo R Duterte announced his executive decision naming yours truly as full-fledged Chief of the Philippine National Police for which I can only be too grateful and honored for his expression of trust and confidence in my humble capacity to lead the country’s police force as its highest official,” the lawyer-member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986 told Camp Crame newsmen.

“As PNP Officer-in-Charge since October 14, 2019, I had been performing the function of Chief PNP although on limited capacity and authority. Three months as OIC has made me more than ready to take on the responsibility bestowed upon myself by the Commander-in-Chief to lead the PNP.

“I am not about to announce a grand program of action just yet. Let me reserve that for a more appropriate time. Essentially, all policies and plans of the PNP are in place since I assumed Command as OIC, and even before that. These policies and plans will remain to be the framework of my leadership, more so now that I am vested with more authority as Chief PNP to pursue the flagship program on internal cleansing and organizational discipline with greater vigor and efficacy,” he said.

Gen. Gamboa said that as a lawyer, “I want every member of the PNP to be most respectful of the rule of law and everything that it stands for. There shall be no individual or unit action outside of the justice system under any circumstances. Everything shall be above-board and compliant with the requirements of due process, human rights, transparency and public accountability.”

He said that technically, he remains to be the PNP Officer-in-Charge until he is formally inducted into office by President Duterte.

“And that crowning glory to be named Chief PNP cannot be more meaningful than when it is given In-the-Field and while in the middle of a massive whole of nation undertaking led by the Chief Executive himself, to mitigate the effects of an impending natural disaster threatening our fellow countrymen in that highly progressive part of Southern Luzon,” he said.

Since Day One of Taal Volcano’s violent episode, Gen. Gamboa said the PNP, initially through the efforts of Police Regional Office-CALABARZON headed by Brigadier Gen. Vicente D. Danao Jr., has been at the forefront of region-wide law enforcement and public safety operations under the direction of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council primarily to conduct safe and organized evacuation of residents within the 14-kilometer danger zone identified by PhiVolcs.

He said that “despite 1,355 of our own personnel and their families in CALABARZON and Metro Manila being victims themselves of Taal’s fury, the PNP remain focused on our disaster response mission.”

“As we speak, there are now 1,821 police search and rescue (SAR) personnel deployed in affected areas, while 9,981 more are on standby and ready for rapid deployment. PNP disaster response operations now involve practically all Luzon-based Police Regional Offices and SAR-capable National Support Units.

There are 244 PNP personnel manning the fort in communities vacated by residents while 332 more are patrolling evacuated areas that were declared off limits to prevent looting and possible exposure to hazardous volcanic fumes, particles and debris,” he said.

Gamboa said that a a fleet of PNP land, sea and air assets consisting of 68 trucks, 53 4x4 troop carriers, 12 buses, 5 aircraft and 26 watercraft are currently committed to this PNP disaster response mission. PNP search-and-rescue units have also assisted in the evacuation and rescue of 129,819 persons, 114,689 of whom are now safely housed in 446 evacuation centers that are secured by 2,841 PNP personnel.