PHILIPPINE National Police officer-in-charge Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa yesterday expressed optimism that just like the proverbial “Phoenix rising from the ashes,”the police force will soon rise again and stronger in its resolve to fight a war on crime, drugs and most especially, rogues in uniform.
“We admit that the recent controversy involving the PNP has shaken the institution at its core. Not only it has caused displeasure from our President but some doubts on our capability and resolve to serve and protect the people.
“Indeed, these are extraordinary times that call for extraordinary measures not only to protect the significant gains we’ve achieved in our campaign against crime, illegal drugs and corruption but also to bring it to its next level from the insights we’ve learned from our tumultuous experience,” the PNP-OIC told a press conference at Camp Crame also attended by senior generals including his fellow candidates for the top PNP post Lt. Gen. Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan and Major Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar.
Gamboa said the PNP will abide whatever will be the final outcome of the review by the Department of Justice regarding the November 29, 2013 drug bust in Pampanga which triggered the resignation of PNP chief Gen. Oscar D. Albayalde.
“Nonetheless, we have already dismissed 4 of the 13 cops involved in Pampanga raid for another grave offense in Antipolo. Another one is facing a more serious offense and will likely be administratively dismissed if substantial evidence exists,” Gamboa said.
The PNP-OIC said they are also recognizing the “strong public clamour for our campaign against illegal drugs should net more high value targets.”
“ These are personalities we have more or less identified. I have demanded from our commanders that these HVTs shall be the focus of our neutralization efforts. However, such focus on supply reduction must be complemented with massive demand and harm reduction activities through drug awareness, barangay clearing and drug users’ rehabilitation in coordination with various local government units and other community stakeholders,” he said.
“We expect leaders to lead at the front and be the drivers of this renewed vigor to win our fight against the scourge of illegal drugs. The involvement of a few of our personnel in illegal drugs and other forms of corruption is likewise a scourge. Therefore, I demand that not only the Integrity Monitoring Enforcement Group but equally so all the Regional and Provincial Directors as well as the Chiefs of Police to lead in rooting out and destroying this menace. I expect no less,” Gen. Gamboa declared.