Incoming Philippine National Police Chief Pancratius Cascolan said Wednesday he would focus on going after the high-value targets in the government’s anti-drug campaign.
“We will see to it that we will get the high-value individuals,” Cascolan said in a television interview.
He made his statement even as Malacañang urged him to uphold the rule of law in carrying out police operations and to come up with a new contingency plan to boost the government’s anti-drug war.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the remarks after confirming that Cascolan had been appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as the new chief of the Philippine National Police effective September 2, 2020, replacing PNP Chief Archie Gamboa.
“The strategy on the war on drugs was last 2016. It should be evaluated in such a way that there should be a technical working group that will discuss the lapses and everything that has to be done,” Roque said, adding this would be among Duterte’s marching orders to Cascolan.
Cascolan, deputy chief for administration, is the author of the Oplan Double Barrel, the police force’s flagship campaign against illegal drugs. It is aimed at encouraging the surrender of small-time drug pushers and neutralizing the big-time drug peddlers.
Cascolan cited the need to strengthen the case buildup to secure the conviction of high-value targets.
“We should also find their networks. Through this, we will have a link the network that will be our basis for our next moves,” Cascolan said.
“This will be our basis for the arrests and the buildup of cases. This will be the focus of the anti-drug campaign. Of course, it will be evaluated and be reevaluated from time to time.”
Cascolan also said the relentless internal cleansing in the police ranks would continue under his leadership.
Despite serving for only over two months, Cascolan said, he would continue implementing the programs put in place by the PNP leadership particularly in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Obviously, our problem is the pandemic. As chairperson of the ASCOTF [Administrative Support to Covid-19 Operations Task Force], I will focus on enhancing and developing the initiatives for us to be able to decrease the COVID-19 cases among police officers,” Cascolan said.
The ASCOTF oversees the administrative matters involved in the policemen deployed to implement the quarantine protocols amid the pandemic.
Cascolan said he would strengthen marshaling activities of police officers in public transport vehicles and terminals to ensure that the health protocols were being followed, the establishment of barangay enforcement teams to ensure the observance of quarantine protocols in the communities, as well as ensuring that policemen were “working by the book”. Vito Barcelo
“I will see to it that everybody who imposes or implements the law will be disciplined and follow also the laws they are implementing,” he said.
He says he plans to visit police camps to check on the morale and the welfare of his men and to know and offer solutions to issues to ensure an unhampered service to the people.
He would also revive the eight-hour work shift for police officers that he implemented during his stint as Metro Manila police chief from April to June 2018.