Former PNP chief Cascolan given Malacañang position

President Rodrigo Duterte has tapped former Philippine National Police chief Camilo Cascolan as an undersecretary in his office in Malacañang.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque confirmed that Duterte signed Cascolan's appointment last Monday, February 22, as "undersecretary of the Office of the President."

"Welcome aboard Usec Cascolan," saidRoque on Wednesday, February 24.

Cascolan is the only PNP chief under Duterte to be given a top civilian post in government after Senator Ronald dela Rosa, the President's first top cop.

Cascolan retired from active duty 3 months ago, in November 2020, after serving only two months as police chief.

Like Dela Rosa, Cascolan was one of the "Davao Boys," or police generals who enjoy ties with Duterte after serving in the Davao region. He got a chance to interact with Bong Go, Duterte's longtime aide and now a senator, back when he was chief of Davao Region Police Office Finance Service and then as chief of directorial staff in the Davao Region Police Office. Go and Cascolan would even play basketball together.

Cascolan was also heavily involved in designing and implementing Duterte's controversial campaign against illegal drugs. He enjoyed a friendship with Dela Rosa, who led the drug war during the bloodiest years the campaign in the earlier years of Duterte's presidency.

He was among the police generals who crafted Oplan Double Barrel, the police’s bible in anti-drug operations under the Duterte administration which institutionalized Oplan High-Value Target and Oplan TokHang.

Back when Dela Rosa was PNP chief, Cascolan oversaw the enforcement of the drug campaign as PNP director for operations.

For two months in 2018, Cascolan was also chief of the National Capital Region Police Office.

Duterte has yet to give civilian posts to two other PNP chiefs before Cascolan, Oscar Albayalde and Archie Gamboa. Albayalde is facing criminal complaints for allegedly coddling drug-tagged cops. Gamboa retired amid controversies of police violating lockdown protocols. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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