Department of Health

Marcos appoints ex-PNP chief Cascolan as DOH undersecretary

Dwight de Leon

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Marcos appoints ex-PNP chief Cascolan as DOH undersecretary

POLICE GENERAL. Camilo Cascolan in March 2017.


It remains to be seen how Camilo Cascolan – one of the brains behind Oplan Tokhang – would be able to use his law enforcement skills in his new role at the Department of Health

MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. named Camilo Cascolan, a retired police general who briefly served as chief of the Philippine National Police under the Duterte administration, as an undersecretary of the Department of Health (DOH).

The DOH confirmed the news on Sunday, October 23.

“Yes, we confirm the receipt of the appointment papers of Mr. Camilo Cascolan, Atty. Charade Mercado-Grande, and several directors,” it said in a statement.

The DOH has yet to disclose Cascolan’s specific tasks in the agency.

Cascolan was named PNP chief by then-president Rodrigo Duterte in September 2020, but left only two months later after reaching the mandatory age of retirement.

Marcos appoints ex-PNP chief Cascolan as DOH undersecretary

The Baguio City native is among the brains behind Oplan Tokhang, the notorious and bloody drug war of the Duterte administration that killed over 6,000 people, based on police records.

He spent a significant chunk of his career leading police stations in various parts of the Philippines, including Taguig City, the province of Compostela Valley which has since been renamed to Davao de Oro, and towns in Iloilo.

Cascolan is also among the generals considered to be part of Duterte’s trusted circle called “Davao boys.”

In 2021, he was named undersecretary at the Office of the President.

It is unclear how Cascolan’s credentials in law enforcement will help him in his new role at the DOH, which remains to be without a permanent secretary nearly four months since Marcos assumed office.

Marcos has called on Filipinos to resume their old lives prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, even as the Philippines recorded its first cases of the Omicron subvariant XBB and the XBC variant. –

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Malacañang, and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.