THE assumption of command of the new Philippine National Police on October 29 has been postponed, People’s Journal learned yesterday.
“The assumption of command ceremony calendared on October 29, 2019 is postponed. Information on the event will be released as soon as obtained,” the PNP Public Information Office headed by Brigadier General Bernard M. Banac said.
The PNP did not give a reason for the postponement but, usually, all major PNP events including its anniversary and Turnover of Command which requires the attendance of the Chief Executive had always depended on the availability of the Commander-in-Chief.
Journal Group sources said that President Duterte has already received the list of candidates for the top PNP post from Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año but the Chief Executive returned it after it turned out that it did not include the name of outgoing Manila Police District director, Brigadier General Vicente D. Danao Jr.
Danao, a member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Sambisig’ Class of 1991 is set to assume his new post as regional director of the Police Regional Office 4-A in Calabarzon region. He will be replaced by Brig. Gen. Bernabe M. Balba of PMA ‘Maringal’ Class of 1988.
Highly-reliable sources said that the DILG chief’s list include the names of PNP Deputy Chief for Administration and now PNP Officer-in-Charge Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, a lawyer from PMA ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986, his classmate, PNP Deputy Chief for Operations Lt. Gen. Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan, and former National Capital Region Police Office director Major Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar, a member of PMA ‘Hinirang’ Class of 1987 who is now the PNP Chief Directorial Staff.
President Duterte is yet to officially name a new PNP chief who will replace Gen. Oscar D. Albayalde, also of PMA Class 1986 who resigned the other Monday ahead of his November 8 retirement date.
However, Gen. Gamboa who has acknowledged Generals Cascolan and Eleazar as his equally “highly-qualified” fellow candidates last Sunday ordered a massive reshuffle of the PNP which affected 21 senior officials including six police regional directors.
Last week, Banac denied reports circulating in the social media that Gen. Gamboa has been named as the new PNP chief by the President. “False, there is no announcement from President Duterte yet,” he said as he clarified that a supposed memorandum for the turnover ceremony between Albayalde and Gamboa was probably part of preparations for the scheduled Change of Command on October 29.
“It could just be for planning purposes,” he explained in the wake of the alleged memorandum which identified Gamboa as the incoming PNP Chief.