"The new chief has his work cut out for him."
It’s preposterous to say that the Philippine National Police, with a new chief installed, will instantly turn over a new leaf.
The extended time President Duterte took to finally designate officer-in-charge P/Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa as Chief PNP accentuates the leadership, moral and credibility crisis that the police organization has suffered. On the other hand, the indictment of former PNP chief Oscar Albayalde highlights yet again the widespread, deep-seated corruption in the police ranks.
Gamboa, a Philippine Military Academy (PMA) 1986 class mistah of Albayalde and former PNP chief-turned-senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, certainly has his work cut out for his eight-month stint at the helm which is to leave a face-saving legacy. It’s his “Sinagtala challenge” so to speak.
We welcome the new Chief PNP’s pledge to initiate reforms that will inculcate police professionalism, as well as inspire moral ascendancy, as it has become contrived to say that “not all policemen are scalawags.” Manong Digong has bluntly stated that the PNP has been a disgrace to every administration.
Albayalde, the second PNP chief sacked for graft since Alan Purisima, is involved in the 2013 case of 13 Pampanga “Ninja cops” under his command who resold over P50 million worth of shabu seizure. Until he became Chief PNP, Albayalde managed to prevent such case prospering against the policemen who instead got promoted.
The exposé on Albayalde’s “Ninja cops” is but one of virtually countless criminal cases policemen or former policemen they themselves perpetrated or have been involved in during the past years.
Little wonder that some aggrieved victims of policemen’s crimes said that Albayalde’s fall is a work of “poetic justice.” It’s karma, as far as former Biliran congressman Glenn Chong, whose aide and a female companion were gunned down by 23 Cainta, Rizal policemen in December 2018. The victim Richard Santillan was tortured before he and his companion were mowed down while driving an alleged stolen vehicle, according to the National Bureau of Investigation.
Again in this instance, Albayalde is accused of protecting and obstructing justice against another mistah, then CALABARZON regional director Brig. Gen. Edward Carranza and the 23 Cainta cops under his jurisdiction.
Another high-profile case still crying for justice is the cold-blooded kidnap-murder of Korean businessman Jee-ick Joo inside the Camp Crame in 2017. To the dismay of terrified Korean community, no suspect has been convicted since Jee was executed by policemen inside the PNP Headquarters.
Gamboa might also want to get updated on the case of 16 policemen of the National Capital Regional Police Office (NCRPO) caught twice smuggling contrabands like cellphones and cigarettes into the New Bilibid Prison for the benefit of detained druglords. In the wake of the massive irregularities at the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), we are confident that the new Chief PNP will not turn a blind eye to these nefarious activities of Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas’ own Ninja cops.
If, in the next eight months, some policemen’s abuses and unlawful activities continue to be tolerated, covered up and whitewashed, then Gamboa will have lost the Sinagtala challenge and failed to save the day for the entire 190,000-strong PNP.