LIEUTENANT General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa gets his fourth star following his appointment by President Duterte as the 23rd Philippine National Police chief, making him the 3rd member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986 to head the 195,000-strong police force under Duterte’s three-year-old presidency.
Tomorrow, President Duterte is expected to lead the assumption of PNP command and donning of rank of Gamboa as a Police Director General in Calabarzon region where the President will return to lead ongoing government efforts to help thousands of residents affected by the Taal Volcano eruption. Gamboa will retire on September 2 this year.
“I welcome the President’s announcement on the designation/appointment of PLt Gen Archie Gamboa. He is very qualified for the job. I expect that he will work harder now that he is the permanent Chief PNP and lead the organization in its intensified fight against illegal drugs, criminalilties, communist terrorist groups and extremists.
“I also expect that he would continue to cleanse the PNP ranks of scalawags. And I enjoin the whole police force to rally behind PLt Gen Gamboa, enforce the law without fear or favor and protect the people,” said Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año.
The PNP rank-and-file also welcomed the President’s decision. “The PNP welcomes the pronouncement of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to appoint PNP Officer-in-Charge, PLt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa as the regular PNP Chief,” said PNP spokesman, Brigadier General Bernard M. Banac.
“Under the able leadership of PLtGen 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 added.
Gen. 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 in him.
On Friday, the Commander-in-Chief announced during a speech at the thanksgiving gathering for the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Davao City that Gamboa was his choice for PNP chief.
A major reorganization of the PNP is expected with the appointment of Gamboa. Under the PNP rule of succession, the incoming PNP Deputy Chief for Administration will be his mistah from PMA Class 1986, erstwhile PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, Lt. Gen. Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan while erstwhile PNP Chief Directorial Staff, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar will be the new PNP-DCO which is the 3rd highest position in the police force.
There is still no word on who will be the incoming PNP-TCDS, the 4th highest position in the PNP although it will be a race among the PNP’s senior 2-star generals.
However, Gamboa had made it clear as early as last October that all police directors are under a 3-month probationary status and he will be judging them based on their performance in the campaign against drugs, criminality, terrorism and internal cleansing.
Over the past three months, Gen. Gamboa steadily took control of the police force which came under fire in the aftermath of the so-called “Ninja Cops” scandal which forced their classmate, then PNP chief, now retired Gen. Oscar D. Albayalde, to resign his post on October 14 last year, 26 days before his actual retirement day.
After being designed as PNP-OIC, Gamboa was given enough power by the President and the DILG to initiate major reforms in the police force and for a start, ordered a massive PNP reorganization which affected at least 20 police generals and saw the designation of erstwhile Police Regional Office 7 director in Central Visayas Brigadier Gen. Debold M. Sinas as the new National Capital Region Police Office director.
Gen. Gamboa said he made the move in order to put the right man in the right job and help restore the reputation of the force which was badly affected by the Senate investigation into the “Ninja Cops” operations in Pampanga in 2013 when Albayalde was still the Pampanga Police Provincial Office director.
Over the past 3 months, Gamboa supervised all PNP administrative and operational work and oversaw major security preparations to ensure a trouble-free All Saints’ Day, the highly-successful SEA Games, Crhistmas and New Year holidays, the Feast of the Black Nazarene and more lately, all police rescue and relief operations in Taal Volcano-ravaged Batangas province.