Cascolan named PNP chief as Gamboa retires â Año
Undated file photo shows Police Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan.
The STAR, file
Cascolan named PNP chief as Gamboa retires — Año
Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - September 1, 2020 - 4:44pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 7:16 p.m.) — Police Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan will be the Philippine National Police chief after Police Gen. Archie Gamboa retires on Wednesday, Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año told reporters on Tuesday.

Gamboa turns 56 on Wednesday, the mandatory retirement age in the Philippine National Police. 

In a statement issued earlier Tuesday, Police Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, PNP spokesperson, said that Cascolan is next in the PNP's succession of command, and with no announcement yet from President Rodrigo Duterte on who he will be appointing, Cascolan was set to take over as PNP-OIC over the 209,000-strong force once Gamboa steps down. 

"Cascolan brings with him the occupational specialty in command and control, honed by vast experience in field operations and strategic management," Banac's statement reads. 

"The PNP Officer Corps and rank-and-file gladly welcome his designation as PNP-OIC to ensure continuity of command in the supervision of all administrative and operational execution of the PNP mission as the weight of responsibility of the PNP increases due to the pandemic and the threat of terrorism," he also said. 

Cascolan, who was promoted to the rank of deputy director general in 2018, is desecribed in report by The STAR as "one of the brains behind the controversial anti-illegal drug program Oplan Tokhang." The PNP now uses ranks similar to those in the military.

Cascolan was, at the time of his promotion, chief of the Philippine National Police Civil Security Group, the unit in charge of the licensing of security agencies.

He was named National Capital Region Police Office chief in April 2018 but was replaced by Guillermo Eleazar, then a director or police major general, after six weeks. 

Ahead of his scheduled retirement, Gamboa also revamped key posts within the agency, appointing Police Brig. Gen. Florencio Ortilla as deputy director for operations of Metro Manila police and designating Police Brig. Gen. Oliver Enmodias as deputy director of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations in Northern Luzon.

Term extension also possible

Earlier, though, Banac also said that the door was open for Gamboa's term to be extended by Duterte due to the coronavirus pandemic should he come to that decision in the coming days, pointing out that the same had already happened in the past in the case of Sen. Ronald dela Rosa.

Dela Rosa served as the country's top cop from 2016 to 2018 and had his term extended by three months to allow him to institute reforms in the agency. 

He also highlighted that naming Gamboa’s successor is the president's prerogative.

During his taped public address Monday night, Duterte made no hint nor mention of who he was leaning on to lead the PNP moving forward. 

"Refueling our energies and strengths in this time of health crisis is what we need in order to provide the best public service to our people," Banac said. 

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