War on drugs, internal cleansing top priorities for new PNP chief

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 20 2020 06:18 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte administers the oath of Police General Archie Gamboa as the new chief of the Philippine National Police. Screenshot from the Presidential Communications Operations Office video

MANILA - Internal cleansing of the police force and the war on drugs are top priorities of Philippine National Police chief Archie Gamboa, who officially assumed the top police post Monday.

President Rodrigo Duterte administered Gamboa's oath and promoted him to a 4-star officer, the only one in the police force to hold the rank, before evacuees in Sto. Tomas City, Batangas.

"As a lawyer, I want every member of the PNP to be most respectful of the rule of law and everything 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 of the requirements of due process, human rights, transparency and public accountability," Gamboa said in a speech.

He also announced a successful drug raid that yielded crystal meth worth P1.5 million or nearly $30,000.

Gamboa was named PNP officer-in-charge after its former chief Oscar Albayalde stepped down in October, weeks shy of his retirement, over allegations he protected police officers tagged in selling seized drugs in 2013, when he was Pampanga police chief.

Gamboa, PNP's Deputy Chief for Administration, is a member of the Philippine Military Academy's Sinagtala Class of 1986 and was a classmate of former chiefs Albayalde and now Sen. Ronald Dela Rosa.

He is set to retire in September.