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PNP brass on 3-month probation amid scandal

In the wake of a drug reselling scandal, the Philippine National Police has put all key officers on a three-month probation and suspended all promotions, its officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa said Monday.

Interior Secretary has submitted a shortlist of three police officials—Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan, Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, and Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa—to President Rodrigo Duterte for the next chief of the Philippine National Police.

“Beginning today, all key positions are under probation for three months and all promotions will be on hold. I will make sure the ax will fall where it should if these leaders will not deliver results,” Gamboa said.

The Palace said President Rodrigo Duterte supported the revamp of key positions in the PNP, which has been embroiled in a scandal over so-called ninja cops who resell drugs seized in police operations. Former PNP chief Oscar Albayalde, linked to the ninja cops during Senate hearings, abruptly resigned in the wake of the scandal.

READ: Cops close ranks for chief, ‘ninjas’

“That’s good for the PNP. Any revamp will always be good for an organization after a while because it is difficult to have roots in your position,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

Gamboa earlier said he saw President Duterte’s reprimand during a command conference in the wake of the ninja cops scandal was a “challenge.”

Among those reshuffled is Central Luzon police chief BGen. Joel Coronel, who would now be the acting director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

Taking Coronel’s post is BGen. Leonardo Cesneros, who was Central Luzon’s deputy regional director for administration.

Manila Police District Director BGen. Vicente Danao was moved to head the Calabarzon police, replacing BGen. Edward Carranza, who is now PNP’s director for logistics.

Carranza is taking BGen. Angelito Casimiro’s post.

Eastern Police District chief BGen. Bernabe Balba is replacing Danao as MPD chief.

Davao police chief BGen. Marcelo Morales is now the acting director of the Police Security and Protection Group.

He was replaced by BGen. Filmore Escobal, the director of the Police Security and Protection Group.

MIMAROPA police chief BGen. Tomas Apolinario Jr. is now deputy director for intelligence, while Eastern Visayas police chief BGen. Dionardo Carlos will replace BGen. Eliseo Cruz as HPG chief.

Cruz is being transferred to the CIDG. BGen. Ferdinand Divina, the deputy director for intelligence, was moved to head the Eastern Visayas police office.

PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group commander PCol Romeo Caramat is at the helm of the PNP Drug Enforcement Group. The PNP-IMEG replaced the Counter-Intelligence Task Force and monitors errant cops.

Taking Caramat’s post at the IMEG is Central Visayas PNP Deputy Regional Director for Operations Ronald Lee.

PNP-DEG director BGen. Albert Ferro was reassigned as Bicol’s acting deputy regional director for administration. Meanwhile, BGen. Nicerio Obaob, the Bicol police’s deputy director for administration, now heads the Mimaropa police office.

The PNP’s intelligence chief, PMGen Timoteo Pacleb, is transferred to the Office of the PNP chief. Also heading to the Office of the PNP chief is PBGen Jose Mario Espino, who is currently Cagayan Valley police chief.

PBGen Joselito Daniel, the deputy director for police-community relations, is now acting director of the Police Community Affairs and Development Group. Daniel is switching places with PBGen Rhodel Sermonia.

PNP’s director for human resource and doctrine development PMGen Mariel Magaway will be heading PNP’s intelligence department. PMGen Amador Corpus, the current CIDG chief, is taking Magaway’s post.

Gamboa on Monday said more than 2,800 PNP personnel have been dismissed while more than 6,300 others were meted with administrative sanctions since 2016 as part of the organization’s internal cleansing program.

“As I have promised last week, we are sharing with you the significant highlights of the PNP Internal Cleansing Program since 2016 to inform the public how dead serious the PNP is in running after rogues in uniform,” Gamboa told reporters after his first Monday flag ceremony as officer-in-charge.

For the period July 2016 until September 20, 2019, Gamboa said a total of 9,172 PNP or roughly 4.7 percent of the total number of PNP personnel currently in service, had been meted various degrees of penalty for administrative cases arising from involvement in criminal activity, and violation of PNP rules and regulations. 

Among those penalized were 2,806 personnel dismissed from service, 535 demoted in rank, 4,721 suspended, 762 reprimanded, 60 restricted to quarters, 208 forfeited salary and 80 withheld privileges.

Of the 2,806 dismissed police officers, 454 were due to their involvement in illegal drug activities; 352 were found positive for using illegal drugs while 102 were involved in illegal drug-related cases.

“Over the last nine months of 2019 alone, 2,286 personnel were slapped with similar penalties for administrative cases,” Gamboa said.

He said the PNP is serious with its aim to enforce culture change and character transformation among police officers.

“The involvement of a few of our personnel in illegal drugs and other forms of corruption is likewise a scourge. Therefore, I demand that not only the Integrity Monitoring Enforcement Group but equally so all the Regional and Provincial Directors as well as the chiefs of police to lead in rooting out and destroying this menace. I expect no less,” Gamboa said.

Gamboa also urged the public to help the PNP to come out and provide information against the rogue police personnel and high-value targets as part of the administration campaign against illegal drugs. With PNA

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: drug reselling scandal , Philippine National Police , Archie Gamboa , Rodrigo Duterte

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