Photo shows Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa, PNP chief, answering questions about the reshuffle of key PNP officials during a press conference at Camp Crame. With him are Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan and Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar.
The STAR/Michael Varcas, File
CHR hopes for reform, greater cooperation with Gamboa as new PNP chief
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - January 21, 2020 - 5:19pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights is hopeful that Police Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa’s appointment as the new top cop will reform the image of the country’s police, which has been facing intense scrutiny since the government’s violent campaign against illegal drugs was implemented.

Gamboa was sworn in by President Rodrigo Duterte as the Philippine National Police’s 23rd chief Monday. He will serve as PNP chief for only eight months.

In a statement Tuesday, CHR spokesperson Jacqueline De Guia welcomed Gamboa's appointment.

De Guia said the rights body is hoping that PNP will rehabilitate its image by showing “greater transparency in its operations and faithfully enforcing the law,” especially on cases of alleged extrajudicial killings.

'Greater cooperation' in probes into alleged rights abuses

CHR is also looking forward to forging a “greater cooperation” with PNP in investigating cases of human rights violations.

A recent Social Weather Stations survey showed that 76% of Filipinos saw “many” human rights abuses in the government’s war on illegal drugs.

A separate report, meanwhile, found that 78% of the respondents believe there are “ninja cops” or police involved in the illicit resale of seized illegal drugs in the 205,000-strong force.

“We trust that he will live by his statement of ensuring that all cops uphold due process, human rights, transparency and public accountability—hopefully, not only under his leadership, but as a legacy of reform among their ranks from hereon,” De Guia said.

She added: “CHR recognizes the importance of our police force in protecting everyone’s right to life, liberty, and property and we continuously extend our hand in the interest of upholding the rights and dignity of all.”

Prior to his appointment, Gamboa was PNP’s officer-in-charge for three months after his predecessor, former police chief Oscar Albayalde, went on non-duty leave amid allegations of coddling “ninja cops.”

RELATED: DOJ charges Albayalde, 12 others over 'ninja cops' controversy

“To the 205,000-strong PNP, I stand before you not just as a chief but a father who will stand and support you til the end if you are doing the right job and doing it the right way,” Gamboa said in a speech Tuesday.

He added: “However, those erring PNP personnel, you will be reprimanded, castigated or be dismissed in the service if necessary.”

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