PNP sets retirement rites for Gamboa

Published August 28, 2020, 2:10 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

The Philippine National Police (PNP) announced Friday that it is preparing the retirement honors for its chief, General Archie Francisco Gamboa, who will bow out of service on September 2, and the ascension of his successor.

Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa(Police Regional Office 10 / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa (Police Regional Office 10 / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“The PNP is now preparing to render retirement honors for P/Gen Archie Francisco Gamboa and for possible change of command ceremony,” said Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, PNP spokesman.

President Duterte is expected to lead the joint ceremonies which will be held at the PNP Multi Purpose Center, in Camp Crame, Quezon City on September 2.

It was not clear though if the Chief Executive will attend the event personally or virtually due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.

“At the moment, we are closely monitoring our communication lines with the Office of the President for further guidance and instructions,” Banac said.

Meanwhile, all the other invited guests will join the ceremony via video teleconference in adherence to the prescribed safety protocols, he added.

Gamboa will reach the mandatory retirement age of 56 for police officers on September 2.

He became the Officer-in-Charge of the PNP from October, 2019, to January, 2020, when his predecessor, retired general Oscar Albayalde, resigned from his post due to alleged ties with ninja cops.

In January, 2020, he was officially named as PNP Chief by President Duterte.

Next in line

Three police generals are considered as frontrunners in the race for the top PNP post.

Banac said they are the members of the Command Group — Lieutenant Generals Camilo Cascolan, Guillermo Eleazar, and Cesar Hawthorne Binag.

“The PNP submits to the better judgment and freehand of the Chief Executive to exercise his prerogative of appointing the Chief PNP as provided by law,” Banac noted.

Cascolan is the PNP’s second in command, being the Deputy Chief for Administration. He also serves as the head of the Administrative Support to COVID-19 Operations Task Force (ASCOTF).

He is a “mistah” of Gamboa, both belonging to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Sinagtala” Class of 1986.

Cascolan is one of the authors of the PNP’s Oplan Double Barrel, which gave birth to the controversial anti-illegal drug campaign “Oplan Tokhang” and “Oplan HVT” (High-Value Target) in 2016. He also handled the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) for six weeks in 2018.

Eleazar is the third in command, serving as the Deputy Chief for Operations. He is concurrently the commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF) COVID Shield.

Eleazar earned popularity as the chief of the NCRPO from June, 2018, to October, 2019, where he was praised by Duterte for his leadership of the Metro Manila’s police force.

He is a graduate of PMA “Hinirang” Class of 1987.

Binag is the fourth in command as the Chief of the Directorial Staff. Like Eleazar, he is a graduate of PMA Hinirang Class of 1987.

Among the notable positions he led include the Directorate for ICT Management (DICTM); Western Visayas Police Regional Office (PRO-6); and the Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO).

He also served as a member of the Board of Inquiry (BOI), Operational Audit Team (OAT) which investigated the infamous Mamasapano clash in 2015 where 44 elite SAF troopers died in pursuit of wanted Malaysian terrorists in Maguindanao.

In his younger years, Binag served as the company commander of the 2nd Special Action Company, an elite counter-terrorist company of the then Philippine Constabulary Special Action Force.