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Choice of PNP chief up in air; Duterte impatient

President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday he is willing to supervise the 40,000-strong Philippine National Police since he has yet to choose its next chief, more than two weeks after the retirement of former top cop Gen. Oscar Albayalde.

READ: Duterte still to pick next PNP chief

“I would rather not appoint anybody for that matter. I am willing to supervise it. I will be the one directing—guidance and direction,” Duterte said in a chance interview Thursday evening.

“Show me, tell me who is the best to handle the command. Just give me an honest man. Period,” he added.

The PNP is currently headed by acting officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa after Albayalde relinquished his post even before his mandatory retirement over a drug scandal.

Allegations that he protected so-called “ninja cops” he had worked with when he was Pampanga police chief in 2013 prompted Albayalde to go into non-duty status on Oct. 14.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government has recommended the PNP’s top three officials as possible successors: Gamboa; Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan; and Major Gen. Guillermo Eleazar.

The first two belong to the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1986, while Eleazar belongs to the 1987 class.

Meanwhile seized around P2.5 billion worth of shabu in a buy-bust operation in Makati City.

Gamboa said the suspect, identified as Liu Chao, was arrested in a buy-bust operation along Banoyo St. in Barangay San Antonio shortly before midnight Tuesday.

Seized from the suspect were 388 kilos of shabu with a street value of P2.522 billion. The drugs were hidden in large travel bags and were believed to be ready for distribution.

Gamboa said Chao rented an apartment in Makati two weeks ago for the purpose of storing illegal drugs.

But Chao reportedly started selling shabu through his contacts, which in turn, resulted in the police monitoring it.

“There were a series of test buys, from one kilo to six to seven kilos. After this, an operation was conducted last night (Tuesday),” Gamboa said in a radio interview.

Realizing that he was transacting with a policeman, Chao ran away and went inside the apartment where the police found the shabu.

Gamboa said they believed the illegal drugs were smuggled into the country.

Gamboa said the police are investigating to determine the extent of the network and to bring to justice his drug peddlers and cohorts.

Gamboa lauded the successful anti-drug operation against a high-value target and commended the PNP’s Drug Enforcement Group under Col. Romeo Caramat Jr. for the biggest drug haul for this year. 

The suspect is now under the custody of the DEG and is set to face charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.

“We have to stop the network of the supply of illegal drugs,” Gamboa said. “We really have to focus on the supply side because despite our aggressive campaign, there is still plenty of supply of illegal drugs.”

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Aaron Aquino said the seizure of 388 kilos of shabu was a high-impact operation hitting high-value targets. With PNA

READ: Rody: Widen pool of PNP choices

Topics: Rodrigo Duterte , Philippine National Police , Oscar Albayalde , Archie Gamboa
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