By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan
MANILA — New Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa on Monday said that his style of leadership would be a participative PNP where everyone will be working together in harmony.
“I am just your leader but every single individual in the PNP counts that’s why I call it ‘Team PNP’ because this is participative leadership. I cannot do this alone. We have to do this as an organization, as team PNP,” Gamboa told reporters on his first public appearance since President Rodrigo R. Duterte appointed him as the country’s top cop last Friday.
“As PNP officer-in-charge since October 14, 2019, I had been performing the function of chief PNP although on limited capacity and authority. Three months as OIC has made me more than ready to take on the responsibility bestowed upon myself by the commander-in-chief to lead the PNP,” he added.
As to the reason of the President choosing him as PNP chief, Gamboa said he would continue the character of honesty.
“There is more to come and more for me to prove that indeed showing sincerity to the President, but more importantly to the government and to the entire Filipino people. As full-fledged chief of the PNP for which I can only be too grateful and honored for his expression of trust and confidence in my humble capacity to lead the country’s police force as its highest official,” he said.
Gamboa, the 23rd PNP chief, said that he would focus on a “vigorous” war against illegal drugs and continue the internal cleansing as directed by the President.
“Marami siyang directive (He has many directives) but generally if we compress it, it will deal with the two issues na sinabi ko na (that I’ve said), vigorous anti-drug campaign and then cleansing the PNP,” said Gamboa.
Gamboa said that not much change would be implemented in the police organization since he was designated as officer-in-charge last year.
“I am not about to announce a grand program of action just yet. Essentially, all policies and plans of the PNP are in place since I assumed command as OIC, and even before that. These policies and plans will remain to be the framework of my leadership, more so now that I am vested with more authority as chief PNP to pursue the flagship program on internal cleansing and organizational discipline with greater vigor and efficacy,” he explained.
“There’s not much to be changed still top priority illegal drugs and cleansing, these will be my priority while PNP personnel who were in the counter-intelligence watch list would be evaluated,” Gamboa pointed out.
The country’s top cop said that policemen proving to commit derogatory acts would either be delisted from the police service or charged with criminal and administrative cases.
“Ninja cops,” Gamboa said, and all policemen involved in all kinds of illegal activities would be the focus.
Revamp is considered as he would evaluate the performance of the police officials, he noted.
Despite his priorities, Gamboa, who is also a lawyer, wants PNP personnel to be “most respectful of the rule of law.”
“As a lawyer, I want every member of the PNP to be most respectful of the rule of law and everything that it stands for. There shall be no individual or unit action outside of the justice system under any circumstances. Everything shall be above-board and compliant with the requirements of due process, human rights, transparency, and public accountability,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, Gamboa is eyeing to create a Technical Working Group and see the possibility of establishing police desks for Chinese people.
Such a move was in view of the crimes committed by Chinese nationals in the country.
Gamboa cleared that the procurement power remains with the PNP but would be under the strict review of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
Gamboa, who hails from Bukidnon, is a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Sinagtala class of 1986. He formally assumed the post on Monday during a simple oath-taking ceremony held in Camp Crame while donning of ranks will be held in Sto. Tomas Batangas on Monday afternoon which will be led by President Duterte.
He is the third member of the PMA Sinagtala Class to become the country’s top cop — retired Gen. Oscar Albayalde and Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.
He had been the spokesman of the Davao Region Police Office from December 1997-2002, while he was studying law at the Ateneo de Davao University and passed the Bar Exam in 2004.
In Camp Crame, he held the positions of Deputy Director of the Directorate for Logistics, Directorate for Comptrollership, and Deputy Chief for PNP Administration.
Gamboa has worked most of his police career doing administrative work.
He was assigned as the PNP officer-in-charge in October 2019, after then PNP chief Albayalde relinquished his post following his implication in the anomalous anti-illegal drugs operation conducted by 13 Pampanga cops in November 2013.
Gamboa would retire on September 2 this year reaching the age of 56. (PNA)