Año hopeful PRRD would soon name new PNP chief

MANILA — Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Saturday expressed hope that President Rodrigo R. Duterte would finally name the next chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) this January.

“I am just hoping that PRRD will finally decide this January to choose the next Chief PNP,” Año told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in a text message.

The PNP is headed by Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa as officer-in-charge.

Año said the President is still assessing the performance of the three contenders for the next PNP chief – Gamboa; Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan, deputy chief for operations; and Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, former Metro Manila police director who now heads the directorial staff.

“He is closely watching the performance of these senior officers. I hope na makapili na siya (he chooses) within the month,” he noted.

In an earlier interview, Año said Duterte wants to determine who among the contenders could assure a successful campaign against illegal drugs.

No permanent PNP chief has been appointed since retired Gen. Oscar Albayalde stepped down amid the ninja cops controversy on October 14.

Año bared that the ninja cops controversy was one of the reasons why it is taking the President a long time to pick the next PNP chief.

Talagang na-disappoint siya sa nangyari na yun (He was so disappointed with that controversy),” he said.

“(The President) has given everything to the PNP, including doubling the salary of the police officers, and yet, meron pa rin mga pulis na gumagawa ng ganito (there are still corrupt policemen).”

Before the end of 2019, the President tasked Año to handle and fix the PNP while he has not picked its next chief.

Año clarified that not picking a permanent chief was not a punishment for the PNP.

He said under his supervision, the strategies of the PNP on peace and order would be revisited for improvement.

“I will make sure magkaroon tayo ng pag-aaral dito sa mga strategy na ginagawa ng ating PNP sa (I will make sure that we will have a study on the strategies of the PNP in the) fight against drugs, organized crime, terrorism, communist insurgency,” Año told reporters in a phone interview.

He said as interior secretary and chairman of the National Police Commission (Napolcom), he has an inherent responsibility over the PNP.

Discussions could be the basis of the proposals to improve the performance of the PNP this year, Año said, adding that they would review what practices to keep and what practices to stop.

He pledged to get rid of rogue policemen by strengthening the Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG) and the Internal Affairs Service (IAS).

Año is also eyeing to modernize the equipment of the PNP against enemies of the state.

He assured the public that the PNP would continue to do its job, even without a permanent head. 

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Source: Philippine News Agency (PNA)

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