MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte will decide on the new chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) even before outgoing PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa retires from service next month, Malacañang said Monday.
In virtual Palace briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque did not give a specific date as to when the new PNP chief will be announced but said it will be “soon.”
Gamboa is set to retire on Sept. 3 when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56
“Hindi naman po inaantay iyong birthday ng retiring PNP chief bago mag-anunsiyo ng kapalit. Mayroon po iyan mga one-week interval, so malapit na po nating i-announce iyan (There is no need to wait for the birthday of retiring PNP chief before we announce a replacement. There’s a one-week interval, so the announcement will be made soon),” he said.
Meanwhile, the Palace official was mum when asked to comment on Gamboa’s alleged party or testimonial parade and review held in his honor at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in Fort Del Pilar, Baguio City.
“I cannot comment because hindi ko po alam kung talagang nagkaroon ng ganiyang party sa Baguio (I don’t really know if there was really a party like that in Baguio),” he said.
Gamboa has since denied holding a party in Baguio City and that he violated any health and safety protocols in the country’s summer capital.
“There was no testimonial parade that was rendered and the different circumstances will lay down that there was no party, we went through the triage,” Gamboa said during a virtual press briefing.
He confirmed that there was a small gathering and that food was served for those who attended but stressed that it was not as big as what was claimed in social media.
Roque said he would have to ask Gamboa to clarify the holding of the supposed party.
“We will check with Gen. Gamboa if there was such a party; and kung nagkaroon ng party (if there was really a party), then we will ask for an explanation,” he said.
He, however, reminded the public that Baguio City is currently under the least restrictive quarantine status—modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
“Baguio City po is under MGCQ ha. Ang Baguio City is under MGCQ, hindi po siya (not) MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine),” he said.
Under MGCQ, Roque said public gatherings are allowed up to 50 percent capacity.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año earlier said he will recommend five names for consideration as PNP chief, including those of the three-star generals.
Año said President Rodrigo Duterte may choose to appoint any police official provided that he has a star rank. (PNA)