ACTING PNP chief Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa yesterday said at least two policemen have been dismissed from the service every day since he assumed command as the officer-in-charge of the 190,000-strong police force two months ago.
“During our last command conference with the President (on December 9), I told him in the briefing that an average of two policemen were dismissed each day,” Gamboa said in a television interview.
Gamboa assumed the post as PNP OIC on October 14 after Gen. Oscar Albayalde resigned as PNP chief amid probe on his supposed involvement in the recycling of drugs in 2013 when he was still the Pampanga provincial police director.
“In my less than two months as officer-in-charge, we were able to dismiss already around 87 (policemen),” said Gamboa.
Gamboa stressed that ridding the PNP of rogue policemen is his priority. “When I took over, my first order is internal cleansing. We have to restore the public trust to the PNP,” he said, adding the 87 policemen dismissed were involved in various illegal activities, including illegal drugs.
“What we would like to emphasize is we are exhausting all means to cleanse the PNP,” Gamboa said.
In the war on drugs, Gamboa said they have shifted focus on high value targets, unlike before when the average amount of seized shabu during operations was one gram.
“Now, the average would be 15 grams and above. So it’s an indication that we’re not after the lower-level (suspects). We go for the high value targets. As a matter of fact, recently, just this week, we have a confiscation of around 260 grams, we also had almost a kilo,” he said.
Gamboa, PNP deputy chief for operations Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan and chief of the PNP directorial staff Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar have been recommended by Interior secretary Eduardo Ano to be the PNP chief. Duterte has yet to make a decision.
Asked if he is ready to take over as PNP chief, Gamboa said: “Next question.” He later gave a big laugh.