The officer in charge (OIC) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) said he will personally review the case involving the 13 Pampanga police officers, whose dismissal order for alleged involvement in a drug-recycling case was downgraded to mere demotion.
Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, who was appointed by President Duterte to head the PNP vice Gen. Oscar Albayalde, said as a lawyer, he is aware of several options to take to ensure the outcome of the review will be satisfactory to the Chief Executive and the public.
“Abogado naman ako and baka matingnan natin nang maayos. Rest assured sa publiko, wala itong bias,” Gamboa said in an interview with radio station DZMM on Thursday (October 17).
Gamboa noted that he has the “disciplinary authority” to review the case, which is now also being investigated by the Senate in aid of legislation.
He said there are other offices within the PNP that can ensure better appreciation of the evidence against the implicated Pampanga police officers, who were accused of pilfering 160 kilos of methamphetamine that they seized in an operation in 2013.
Albayalde’s name was dragged into the case, as witnesses in the Senate probe said he tried to intervene in behalf of these officers. Albayalde left his post ahead of his scheduled retirement next month.
Gamboa also vowed to address the disappointment expressed by Duterte over the “ninja cops” controversy involving uniformed personnel who are recycling narcotics confiscated in operations.
“Lahat naman ng nag-attend doon napakinggan nila iyon,” Gamboa said. “It’s a challenge on my leadership, kahit na OIC ako, that I should do something about the impression of the President. Hindi naman kailangan ko pang, ‘Sir ano bang gawin natin?’ Dapat may initiative ako kung anong dapat kong gawin at ipiniprepara ko iyan.”
Gamboa is among the top candidates for the post vacated by Albayalde, his classmate at the Philippine Military Academy.