MANILA, Philippines – Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Monday that he had recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte three police officials who could lead the 190,000-strong Philippine National Police (PNP).
Duterte is expected to soon appoint the 23rd PNP chief as Gen. Oscar Albayalde stepped down weeks before he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56 on November 8 in the midst of drug recycling controversy hounding the 2013 drug raid in Mexico town when he was at the helm of the Pampanga police.
“In alphabetical order: Cascolan, Eleazar, and Gamboa,” Año said in a text message, referring to Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan, Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, and Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa.
Año said he submitted his official recommendation to Duterte last Thursday, October 17.
By structure, Gamboa holds the second-highest post in PNP as deputy chief for administration. He recently assumed post as officer-in-charge of the police force after Albayalde’s resignation.
Cascolan, meanwhile, holds the third-highest post in PNP as deputy chief for operations. Eleazar, on the other hand, holds the fourth-highest position as chief of the directorial staff after serving as director of the National Capital Region Police Office.
Both Gamboa and Cascolan are mistahs (classmates) of Albayalde in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Sinagtala Class of 1986 and will retire from the police force in September and November 2020, respectively; while Eleazar is their underclass, being a member of the PMA Hinirang Class of 1987. Eleazar will retire from PNP on November 2021.
But under present rules, Duterte may still choose outside the list submitted by the Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, which has jurisdiction over PNP, provided that the police officer has a rank of – at the least – Brigadier General. /kga