MANILA, Philippines – “This is temporary.”
Appearing uneasy before a phalanx of cameras, Lieutenant General Archie Francisco Gamboa addressed cops on Monday, October 14, just hours after police chief General Oscar Albayalde resigned amid a firestorm. He called for calm amid the abrupt transition, telling cops to continue working and ignore the noise of a controversy which has been hounding them for weeks.
“Let’s do our job. Let not the other controversies affect us. Let’s continue to work, which is to serve and to protect our people,” Gamboa said, taking a firm tone and looking straight to the camera lenses.
According to Gamboa, President Rodrigo Duterte has spoken with him, telling him to “continue the work that the PNP should do on a daily basis” which includes his popular but deadly anti-illegal drugs campaign. Gamboa is one of the so-called “Davao cops” of the PNP’s top brass, as he served in key posts in the Davao Region while the President was a mayor of Davao City.
Gamboa, a lawyer, stressed his role as officer-in-charge is still in a gray area as he waits for an outline of his powers from the National Police Commission (Napolcom).
The 3-star general is one of the top contenders for the PNP post. In a morning interview with DZMM radio, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said he would most likely recommend Gamboa, Lieutenant General Camilo Cascolan, and Major General Guillermo Eleazar for the top cop post.
Prior to assuming the top cop post, Gamboa was the PNP’s number two official, as the deputy chief for administration. He is a classmate of resigned police chief Albayalde, with the two belonging to the Philippine Military Academy Sinagtala Class of 1986. – Rappler.com