By Argyll Geducos
President Duterte has named Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa the new chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), saying he has shown sincerity over the past three months he served as officer-in-charge (OIC) of the organization.
In a speech in Davao City Friday evening, Duterte said that he will name Gamboa the country’s new top cop soon, but he will have to talk to him first.
“I’m going to appoint you as the regular PNP. But you and [Interior] Secretary [Eduardo] Año and I will have a long, long talk first,” he said.
“Pinakita mo sa akin ang sincerity mo (You’ve shown me your sincerity) and I’d like you to leave something that you will be remembered by the country.”
Duterte announced Gamboa’s appointment almost three weeks after he tasked Año to lead and fix the PNP because he cannot choose anyone to be the new head of the police force from among the names recommended to him.
Gamboa was named OIC of the PNP following the resignation of Gen. Oscar Albayalde from the post due to his involvement in a controversial drug raid in Pampanga in 2013.
The incoming PNP chief was originally the next in line in succession after Albayalde as he was the deputy chief for administration, the second-highest position in the police force.
Gamboa was also Albayalde’s classmate in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Sinagtala Class of 1986.
Duterte recently hit the PNP, saying it was one of the problems his drug war was facing. The President earlier said he ordered Año to remove from the police force everyone involved in the illegal drug trade.
“You have to go for the jugular. You have to purge the PNP,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN last week.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo earlier said Duterte may still change his mind about appointing a PNP chief.
“Every pronouncement by the President is subject to change depending on the conditions prevailing at the time an announcement is made. If the condition no longer obtains, then the President, necessarily, will have to change his stand on a particular matter,” Panelo said.