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Superbody on drug war eyed

Lifestyle check on PNP brass proposed in wake of scandal

The Philippine National Police is considering pushing for the creation of a “superbody” that will take the lead in the government’s anti-narcotics drive.

The superbody, according to PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, will “oversee and undertake all drug operations” as well as review cases and set policies for drug busts.

“Pinag-aaralan din namin iyon [we are also studying that]. Probably next command conference in November, we are going to propose that,” Gamboa said in a radio interview.

Meanwhile, a party-list congressman on Tuesday demanded that the officers being recommended to be the next PNP chief be subjected to a lifestyle check.

Rep. Eric Go-Yap of ACT CIS said the lifestyle check will ensure a credible police force after controversy has hounded several PNP chiefs, including recently resigned Oscar Albayalde, who stepped down after being implicated during Senate hearings of involvement with ninja cops, policemen accused of reselling seized narcotics.

READ: Cops close ranks for chief, ‘ninjas’

During the Aquino administration, PNP chief Alan Purisima was stripped of his rank and is still facing several criminal charges ranging from the mishandled Mamasapano, Maguindanao operation that resulted in the death of 44 Special Action Force commandos to the irregular grant of a messengerial services contract.

“What is needed maybe is a lifestyle check among the candidates for chief PNP to make sure that the next one to head the police force is deserving,” Yap, chairman of the House committee on games and amusement, said.

Earlier, Senator Christopher Go said President Duterte is choosing among three senior police officials on the shortlist submitted by Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano.

Included in the shortlist, Go said, are Lt. Gens. Francisco Archie Gamboa and Camilo Pancratius Cascolan, who both belong to Philippine Military Academy Class 1986 and Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar of PMA Class of 1967.

Go, and Party-list Rep. Michael Defensor of Anakkalusugan expressed belief that the President will be able to choose someone who could unite the fractious force and cleanse the police organization.

Go lamented that it has been a cycle that the in PNP, whenever the chief retires, he is always being linked to controversies.

He said PNP chiefs are not really subjected to close scrutiny and issues surface when their terms are about to end.

Meanwhile, Senator Richard J. Gordon guaranteed that the Senate will continue to keep an eye on the PNP.

“I can assure you, the Senate is going to watch with eagle eyes and see whether this thing will stop,” he said, referring to the latest scandal to rock the PNP.

He lauded President Duterte for ordering the revamp of the PNP after Senate hearings exposed the operations of the so-called ninja cops, and an apparent attempt to cover them up.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed Duterte’s disappointment over the ninja cops scandal.

PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa announced that all officials of the PNP have been placed on a three-month probation starting Monday, Oct. 21, including those who hold key positions such as regional directors and chief of directorates.

READ: PNP brass on 3-month probation amid scandal

The statement came following a massive reshuffling that redeployed at least 20 generals and two colonels.

Gamboa also gave orders to be implemented immediately, namely: no golf during weekdays; no presence in gambling joints, casinos, cockpits, and public drinking places; no take from gambling and drug groups; no use of confiscated vehicles; and no use of private vehicles without plate numbers.

The major revamp in the PNP was a result of the inquiries conducted by the Blue Ribbon and justice committees, both chaired by Gordon.

The investigations on the implementation of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) Law exposed various anomalies and corruptions surrounding the PNP, the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.

Meanwhile, the head of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said they are winding up their investigation against the 16 police officers allegedly involved in trafficking contraband in and out of the New Bilibid Prison.

Members of the NCRPO Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division (RIDMD) are now completing their interviews and investigation, and are expected to issue a final evaluation of the case on Friday, Oct. 25.

Some of the police officers involved reported on Monday before the RIDMD office where they submitted their respective counter affidavits.

NCRPO director Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas said his office will keep an eye on the policemen involved.

Sinas refused to identify the police officers while the investigation is being conducted. But he said the policemen were ordered relieved and were reassigned to the Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit.

The policemen—formerly from the District and Regional Mobile Force Company—form part of the 551 officers detailed by the NCRPO to secure the premises of NBP’s Maximum Security Compound.

Reports showed that during inspection, the uniformed personnel were caught with contraband in their possession, including liquor, electronic gadgets and tobacco.

It also showed that confiscated packs of tobacco were placed inside boxes while two liters of alcohol were placed in iced tea bottles. The police officers reportedly sold the liquor to inmates for P10,000 to P20,000 per bottle.

The confiscated contraband is now under the custody of the BJMP.

“This is saddening but we will not concede. This is just one of our continuing challenges. We will not relent in our reforms to cleanse our organization. We will never tolerate this illegal activity. Discipline must prevail,” said Sinas.

READ: Gordon: Senate report on Albayalde, ninja cops on hold

READ: Rody to ‘ninja’ cops: I could be more evil

READ: 'Senate can prove PNP chief's guilt'

Topics: Philippine National Police , Archie Gamboa , Eric Go-Yap , Alan Purisima
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