Duterte to Cascolan: Rid PNP of corruption
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said yesterday Duterte also wants new Philippine National Police chief Camilo Cascolan , who has only two months to serve as PNP chief, to ensure that the police would always uphold the rule of law.
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Duterte to Cascolan: Rid PNP of corruption
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - September 3, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has given his marching orders to new Philippine National Police chief Camilo Cascolan: cleanse the PNP ranks of scalawags as part of efforts to maintain the integrity of the police force.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said yesterday Duterte also wants Cascolan, who has only two months to serve as PNP chief, to ensure that the police would always uphold the rule of law.

“To the PNP chief, of course, number one is to maintain… uphold integrity of the rule of law as far as the PNP is concerned,” Roque said.

“Number two, rid its ranks of corruption because that’s the reason why the President doubled the salary of the armed forces and military. And number three what is closest to his heart, sustain the gains of the drug war,” Roque said.

Cascolan assumed his post yesterday after the retirement of Gen. Archie Gamboa.

The President ordered Cascolan to “professionalize the ranks, uphold the Constitution and the rule of law and continue the gains of the drug war,” Roque said.

Cascolan said the PNP would also focus on high-value targets or big-time drug lords as he vowed to make a significant impact in the government’s war on illegal drugs.

He promised to intensify operations against drug syndicates that continue to operate amid the health crisis brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We will see to it that we will build up cases most especially against high-value individuals,” he said in an interview over Teleradyo.

Cascolan agreed that small-time drug pushers and users, who are the usual casualties in the anti-drug campaign, should not be killed and instead be used to catch the main players.

Aside from drug traffickers, he said rapists should also be covered by the proposal to reimpose the death penalty.

Cascolan was one of the authors of Oplan Double Barrel that became the PNP’s flagship program in the anti-drugs campaign.

He also crafted the Enhanced Managing Police Operations which police units are using to address criminality, terrorism and internal security.

Cascolan also pledged to defend the 1987 Constitution in response to calls by a group pushing for the establishment of a revolutionary government to be headed by President Duterte.

Cascolan said they will never support moves to change the Constitution through extra-legal means and that they will not hesitate to arrest people involved in such activities.

Duterte’s allies belonging to the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte-National Executive Coordinating Committee (MRRD-NECC) want a revolutionary government to hasten the process of Charter change to set up a federal form of government.

The PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) is investigating the MRRD-NECC to determine if there is any basis for filing charges against its members.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Cascolan has a challenge ahead of him to make a difference in his short two-month stint at the helm of the 200,000-strong police force.

Año said Cascolan will lead the PNP with integrity, professionalism and dedication to duty before he retires in November.

He said the leadership of both the police and military organiizations is a strategic position that gives direction to all plans of the institutions.

The relatives and friends from the Cordillera region take pride with Cascolan’s appointment as the first Cordilleran to become PNP chief.

“We are very grateful for the support of the Baguio community as many are praying for him,” said Cascolan’s younger sister lawyer Maita Cascolan-Andres.

The new police chief was born in Baguio on Nov. 10, 1964. He studied at the Maryknoll Convent School for elementary then went to the University of the Phillippines Baguio High School and later took up mathematics for two years at UP Baguio before transferring to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, also a former police general and PMA graduate, wished Cascolan the best.

Magalong said the new police chief is focused, incredibly hardworking and full of innovative ideas.

Lawyer Rafael Calinisan, People’s Law Enforcement Board executive officer, welcomed yesterday the statement of Cascolan that policemen would follow the law.

Cops’ height

Meanwhile, the Senate approved on second reading the measure seeking to relax the height requirement for applicants in the police, fire, jail and corrections bureau.

Sen. Ronald dela Rosa, a former PNP chief and principal sponsor of the proposed measure to lower the minimum requirement for applicants in the PNP, Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and the Bureau of Corrections, clarified that the present draft has already addressed the concerns of critics.

During interpellation by Sen. Ramon Revilla, Dela Rosa said he and other senators are pushing Senate Bill 1563, which seeks to lower the height requirements from 5-foot 4 to 5-foot 2-inch tall for male and from 5-foot 2-inch to 5 foot tall for female.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Senate Bill 1563 has been approved on second reading after Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon interpellated that the measure has no provision that would contravene the Constitution.

“We want to lower the height restrictions for applicants of PNP, BFP, BJMP and BuCor to give the opportunity to those under height to serve our country and to broaden the pool of applicants,” said Dela Rosa, the first PNP chief under the Duterte administration.

Sen. Bong Go commended Dela Rosa and his proposed measure, saying that it will help augment and strengthen the country’s law enforcement and firefighting forces, and other first-responders in times of emergencies and calamities.— Emmanuel Tupas, Cecille Suerte Felipe, Romina Cabrera, Jose Rodel Clapano, Artemio Dumlao Jr.

CAMILO CASCOLAN
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