We need a genuine reformist to lead the PNP

August 24, 2020

AFTER 11 months in office as our country’s highest police official, Philippine National Police director general, Archie Gamboa, would be bowing out of service, at last, err, finally, after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56.

In October 2019, when Gamboa was first appointed as PNP ‘OIC’ (officer-in-charge) by Pres. Duterte (and confirmed last January as Chief PNP), Gamboa vowed to restore the one thing that has been tarred repeatedly because of all sorts of imaginable and unimaginable crimes and scandals involving the PNP—its credibility.

And most people applauded him for this and believed in him to deliver considering that other than being a seasoned soldier and police officer, he is also a lawyer and therefore, a respecter of laws and the rule of law. At least this is what we are made to believe.

The first glaring “sign” that Gamboa’s glitter as an upholder of the rule of law is really polished brass, not gold, was his spirited defense of his favorite police official—and who sources said he is pushing to succeed him—NCRPO police director, P/MGen. Debold Sinas.

As we all know Gen. Sinas had a most scandalous birthday celebration last May where all government rules to combat the COVID-19 pandemic were not followed.

It would take a public statement of displeasure by DILG secretary Eduardo Año about that ‘Sinas Affair’ before Gamboa backtracked from his defense of Sinas and ordered an investigation.

Last week, after the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) handcuffed 11 policemen from San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan, for the “nanlaban” killing of six people after linking them to illegal drugs, Gamboa, in his rightful indignation, claimed he would not tolerate the presence of rogue cops in the PNP.

As his statement came on the heel of him being dragged to court by Atty. Glenn Chong for the December 10, 2018 killing of Richard Santillan the evidence of which Gamboa refused to hand over as claimed by Chong, we find his claim of intolerance against bent cops, uh, “not sincere.”

Last week too, the National Press Club had sought answer from Gamboa in connection with the whereabouts of two Negros Oriental policemen linked to the murder last May 5, 2020, of Dumaguete broadcast journalist Rex Cornelio Pepino.

Here, we are referring to P/Msgt. Reuel Pinero and Melvin Bulandres. Both cops, sources said, are “crucial” in solving the killing of Pepino, especially as to the motive and who is behind his murder.

And as you are reading this, dear readers, Gamboa is yet to make a reply.

Or was it because by answering, he would be forced to admit that the cops being sought are now with the NCRPO, “reassigned” to Gen. Sinas?

And Gen. Sinas of course, is very dear to his heart.

By the time this piece passes into obscurity, the same would have happened to Gamboa, as he would have retired by then.

But if he can believe in his heart that he has made a difference in burnishing the credibility of the PNP as he had set to do, we beg to disagree.

He found the PNP rotten when he came in and he would be leaving it as rotten as before.

We need a genuine reformist to lead the PNP.