MANILA - The Philippine National Police (PNP) will be temporarily led by Gen. Camilo Cascolan, the institution's Deputy Chief for Administration, while PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa recovers from the helicopter crash he survived Thursday.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año confirmed Cascolan will be the officer-in-charge of PNP, a position once held by Gamboa, until the latter returns to “full duty status.”
Gamboa was on his way to Calamba, Laguna in a 2-year-old Bell 429 helicopter with police top officials Major Generals Jovic Ramos and Mariel Magaway and PNP spokesman Police Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, when the chopper got tangled with power lines after takeoff in San Pedro town.
The incident was witnessed by an ABS-CBN reporter on the scene.
Gamboa and his men were in San Pedro for an inspection of impounded vehicles. The aircraft was supposed to bring him to Camp Vicente Lim in Calamba.
The PNP chief was conscious when he was brought out of the helicopter, said the officer who carried him, Capt. Ranny Espilles, deputy chief investigator of the PNP Highway Patrol Group special operations division.
“Sinabi niya sa akin na okay siya, [at] wala siyang serious na masyado na tama. Just the same pagaling ka, 'wag mag-isip naman na trabaho, recover,” Ano told ABS-CBN News in a phone interview.
(He told me he's okay, and he has no serious wounds. Just the same, get better, don't think much about your work, recover.)
The twin-engine helicopter was purchased by the national police in 2017. Gamboa, who was then head of PNP logistics, led the bidding procedures for the aircraft.
Ano said he will launch a probe on the chopper crash "to prevent future incidents."
“Magpapa-conduct ako ng formal [investigation] kung ano nangyari. Crash investigation -- cause, mechanical, pilot error ba yan, paano ma-prevent 'yung future incidents -- like that,” Ano said.
(I will conduct a formal [investigation] on what happened. Crash investigation -- cause, mechanical, is it pilot error, how to prevent future incidents -- like that.)--Report from Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News