Año expects Archie Gamboa to 'work harder' as next PNP Chief

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 18) — Interior Secretary Eduardo Año is all praises for PLTGEN Archie Gamboa who has finally been chosen as the next chief of the Philippine National Police.

Año in a statement on Saturday said Gamboa is "very qualified for the job," enumerating his expectations from the highest police officer.

"I expect that he will work harder now that he is the permanent head of the PNP and lead the organization in its intensified fight against illegal drugs, criminalities, communist terrorist groups and extremists," he said.

"I also expect that he would continue to cleanse the PNP ranks of scalawags," he added.

He urged the Department of Interior and Local Government and the police force to support Gamboa, "enforce the law without fear or favor, and serve and protect the people."

It took President Rodrigo Duterte more than three months to decide on who would replace the controversial Oscar Albayalde, who resigned from his post in October 2019 amid allegations of his involvement in a 2013 anomalous drug raid that happened under his watch as Pampanga provincial police director. The Department of Justice recently found probable cause to charge Albayalde for graft for failing to implement an order penalizing his men over the irregular drug sting. The former top cop has said he is ready to clear his name in court.

Admitting he was having a hard time in choosing the next PNP chief, Duterte in December last year asked Año to temporarily supervise the police with Gamboa as officer-in-charge.

In a speech in Davao City Friday night, Duterte made a surprise announcement: "We have the PNP Chief." He said Gamboa has showed him sincerity, and that they will have a "long, long talk" soon, together with Año.

Gamboa is taking over the PNP which has been rocked by controversies, particularly the issue of "ninja cops" or those who would recycle or sell illegal drugs confiscated from police operations.

READ: Ninja cops' days are numbered, senators say as Albayalde's court trial looms

Prior to being appointed as the next head of the national police, Gamboa served several leadership posts, including as spokesperson of the Davao Regional Police Office from 1997 to 2002, until he became deputy chief for administration in the headquarters in October last year.

Gamboa is a "mistah" or classmate of former PNP chiefs Albayalde and now Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa. They are all from the Philippine Military Academy "Sinagtala" Class of 1986.