MANILA - The Philippine National Police is winning the war on drugs, according to the PNP's new OIC, despite a massive scandal on police officers reselling seized narcotics that has affected the Philippines' top cop.
P/Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa said the "ninja cops" controversy involving 13 police officers who sold 160 kilos of shabu in a 2013 operation has affected the entire police force.
"As a family, you'll feel affected. Na low-morale din sila kasi the campaign was on illegal drugs and here's an implication," he said in an ANC interview.
On Monday, Gamboa assumed the post as OIC of the PNP after PNP chief General Oscar Albayalde stepped down ahead of his mandatory retirement.
Albayalde was head of the Pampanga police when 13 of its his men were accused of pilfering some 160 kilos of shabu from a 2013 operation against a suspected Chinese drug lord.
Gamboa said the investigation into the ninja cops would be "100-percent graft-free" and "bias-free." He said regaining the PNP's credibility is a big challenge.
"I have to be honest, talagang naapektuhan rin ang PNP. First, you have to convince our personnel, the Philippine National Police, our organization. Second, we go to the public and tell them the PNP is still a very good police force and we can do our mandate," he said.
Gamboa meanwhile believes that the controversy did not affect the PNP's campaign against illegal drugs.
"I think we're winning the drug war," he said. "These controversies that haunted us might be a setback. But I assure the public we can regain our stance and pursue our campaign."
He said Albayalde's decision to step down as the country' top cop is the best option for him and for the organization.
"For him, you see how he was for the past few weeks during the Senate hearing talagang exhausted siya. For the organization, alam mo naman kapag the father is embattled, of course the children would also feel the same. Whether we liked it or not, the organization is being dragged."
"It was best [option] for himself and the organization as well," he said.
Gamboa will preside over his very first command conference on Tuesday morning where he said he would consult different commanders for ideas on how to proceed.
Gamboa, who served as commander of the PNP National Security Task Force for the 2019 midterm elections, belongs to the PMA Sinagtala Class of 1986, along with Albayalde and PNP Deputy Chief for Operations Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan.
Gamboa and Cascolan are among the frontrunners for the PNP post.