President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday he will appoint a policeman as the next Philippine National Police chief who can assure him that all drug lords would be killed in the government’s anti-drug campaign.
Duterte has yet to choose the top cop who will lead the 40,000-strong police force and more than three weeks after the retirement of former PNP chief Oscar Albayalde.
“If you will say, ‘Sir, if you choose me, all drug lords will be killed. ‘Ok, [then I’ll appoint] you. If you can’t give me that guarantee, I won’t [appoint you],” Duterte told GMA 7.
The PNP is now led by an officer in charge Archie Gamboa after Albayalde relinquished his post over a drug scandal even before his mandatory retirement on Nov. 8.
Allegations that Albayalde protected the so-called “ninja cops” he had worked with when he was Pampanga police chief in 2013 prompted him to relinquish his post and go into non-duty status on Oct. 14.
The Interior department has recommended the PNP’s top three officials as possible successors: Gamboa, Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan and Major Gen. Guillermo Eleazar.
Duterte said while they were “all good,” he found it difficult to choose among them.
“I am having a hard time with the police. I love my police officers, but I find officials difficult, he said.
“They are all good. I want a better deal. It is not enough that you recommend to me.”
Gamboa and Cascolan belonged to the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1986, while Eleazar belonged to the 1987 class.
Later in the day, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte wanted an “honest cop” to lead the PNP.
“He doesn’t want a cop that has been charged with any irregularity, infraction whether criminal or administrative,” Panelo told reporters.