NEWLY-named police chief Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa yesterday said he has received strict orders from President Duterte to focus on the government’s campaign against illegal drugs and on ridding the PNP of scalawags, including “ninja cops.”
Gamboa said President Duterte issued the directive shortly after the latter announced his designation as PNP chief on Friday last week during the thanksgiving gathering of the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Davao City.
Duterte on Monday administered Gamboa’s oath of office as new PNP chief during his visit to Santo Tomas, Batangas where he led the distribution of relief assistance to those affected by the eruption of the Taal volcano.
Gamboa said Duterte, together with Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, sat down with him after the announcement of his designation as chief of the 190,000-strong police force.
“It (meeting) lasted for I think one hour. He has a lot of directives but generally, if we compress it, it will dead with two issues – vigorous anti-drug campaign and then cleansing of the PNP,” Gamboa said.
Asked if the drug problem can be solved during his time as PNP chief, Gamboa said: “Well, he (President Duterte) told me, really it will take some time to eradicate. Now, I have up to September 2, that is my retirement.”
Gamboa said the war on drugs is anchored on Executive Order 66, issued on October 29, 2018, that institutionalized the country’s anti-illegal drugs strategy. “Remember, the success or failure of any drug campaign is vested on that EO, the effort is not limited to the PNP. This is an all government approach from prevention to punitive and including rehabilitative,” he said.
“Our top priority is our campaign against illegal drugs and cleansing the PNP….Now as chief PNP, these will be my priority,” Gamboa vowed.
Gamboa said the campaign against rogue policemen includes the ninja cops, or policemen who recycle confiscated illegal drugs.
“All – ninja cops and those policemen involved in all kinds of illegal activities. From the very simple gamblers, protectors up to the level that they are participants or even members of identified syndicated crime groups,” he said.
At the same time, Gamboa said the PNP is planning to put up Chinese desks in police stations amid the increasing number of Chinese nationals who are falling victims of kidnap-for-ransom and extortion.
“We need the cooperation of the Chinese people, through their embassy. We will be establishing probably Chinese desks, cross training on language, culture so that they will understand why they are doing this and how they are going to do it,” he said.
The PNP’s Anti-Kidnapping Group has already put up Chinese desks earlier this month.
Gamboa said the planned establishment of Chinese desks at police stations will be coordinated with the Chinese police attache.
“As a matter of fact, there are a lot of specialized schooling and visits that have been initiated by the Chinese government of sending members of the PNP to China so that we would understand more their culture and how their syndicates do their thing in China and probably the same that they do here in the Philippines,” he added.
Meanwhile, Gamboa announced the arrest of a Nigerian drug peddler during a buy-bust operation in Bacoor City in Cavite.
Gamboa said the suspect, Kingsley Osita Escobi, was nabbed by anti-narcotics policemen over the weekend after selling two kilos of shabu to a poseur buyer.
“He is believed to have links with the notorious West African Drug Syndicate that is known for its international drug trafficking activities across Asia, Africa and Europe,” Gamboa said of Escobi.