By the Philippine News Agency and Aaron Recuenco
It was the honesty of incoming Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa that earned him the PNP’s top post, Malacañang said on Sunday.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo made this remark after President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday announced that he was going to appoint Gamboa as the next PNP chief three months after the post was vacated by Oscar Albayalde.
“Ayon sa kanya isa lang naman ang kanyang basis pag nag-appoint siya, honesty (According to him, the only one basis for his appointments is honesty),” Panelo said in an interview over dzIQ.
Panelo explained that although honesty and competence were the two qualities in the President’s criteria in the search for new PNP chief, honesty carried more weight because competence was already expected from his appointees.
“Yung competence kasi, he already assumes na competent ka. Trabaho mo ‘yan (As for competence, he already assumes you’re competent because that’s your job),” he added.
During the Thanksgiving Gathering of Fraternal Orders of Eagles in Davao City on Friday, Duterte bared that he was going to appoint Gamboa as PNP chief but only after having a long talk with Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.
Duterte earlier gave Año blanket authority to supervise the PNP as well as the police force’s procurement powers.
The President wanted Año to cleanse the PNP before he named the next PNP chief.
The President said he saw Gamboa’s sincerity in his stint as leader of the 160,000-strong police force.
“I want you to leave something that you will be remembered by the country,” Duterte said.
Top cop’s mission
Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa embarks on a mission of gaining the trust and confidence of President Duterte on the police force following his appointment as PNP chief.
Gamboa earlier admitted that the PNP suffered credibility issue after his predecessor was dragged into a drug-recycling and drug lord extortion controversies last year which resulted in Duterte publicly attacking the PNP and delaying the selection of the next national police chief.
“I thank President Duterte for his trust and confidence,” said Gamboa, referring to the Chief Executive’s announcement on Friday that he would be appointing him as the next Chief PNP.
Asked why he was chosen as the PNP Chief, Gamboa said that the sincerity and determination to reform the police organization and improve further in the campaign against illegal drugs could be one of the reasons.
Gamboa served as the Office-In-Charge of the PNP since October last year when then national police chief Oscar ALbayalde was forced to quit after he was implicated in the recycling of evidence taken from a drug raid in Pampanga when he was still the province’s police commander.
Gamboa said that the President may have seen his efforts for the PNP to bounce back from the controversy through the programs and projects he initiated.
In order to win back the President’s trust, Gamboa said his focus is to combine aggressive internal cleansing and a shift in the strategy in the drug war by targeting high-value targets.
“Internal cleansing and an aggressive campaign against illegal drugs will be my top priorities for this year,” said Gamboa.
Gamboa, a native of Malaybalay, Bukidnon, is a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy Sinagtala Class of 1986.
He is the third PMA Class members to be appointed as PNP chief after now Senator Ronald dela Rosa and Albayalde.
He has a Masters Degree in Business Administration and went to the Ateneo de Davao University and the Jose Rizal University for his law degree. He passed the bar examinations in 2004.
Senior police officials are thankful that the President respected the seniority rule in appointing Gamboa as PNP chief.
Gamboa is currently the most senior in the police organization due to the position he held as the number two man of the PNP, or Deputy Chief for Administration, before Duterte’s announcement to appoint him as the next PNP chief.
In the past years, the appointment of at least three years junior to the most senior police official would usually cause friction between the senior officials and the junior ones, especially in promotion and assignments.