MANILA – Incoming Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Lt. Gen. Camilo Pancratius Cascolan on Wednesday said he would focus on going after high-value targets (HVTs) in continuing the government’s anti-drug campaign.
“Atin pong titiningnan na dapat ang mga high value individuals ay sila ang makukuha mismo, sila ang maaresto [We will see to it that we will get the high-value individuals],” Cascolan said in a television interview.
Cascolan, current deputy chief for administration, is the author of the Oplan Double Barrel, the police force’s flagship campaign against illegal drugs. It involves the Oplan Tokhang aimed at encouraging the surrender of small-time drug pushers and the Oplan High-Value Target which goes after big-time drug peddlers.
He also cited the need to strengthen case buildup to secure conviction of HVTs.
“At the same time, we should also find their networks. Through this, we will have a link network that will be our basis for our next moves. This will be our basis for arrests and buildup of cases. This will be the focus of the anti-drug campaign. Of course, it will be evaluated and still be reevaluated from time to time,” Cascolan added.
By enhancing the anti-illegal drug operations of the PNP, more high-value individuals would be arrested, he said.
Cascolan also said relentless internal cleansing among police ranks will continue under his leadership.
Despite serving for only over two months, Cascolan said he will continue implementing the programs put in place by the PNP leadership particularly in addressing the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
“Obviously, ang ating problema pa po ay pandemya (our problem is the pandemic), Covid-19. As chairperson of the ASCOTF (Administrative Support to Covid-19 Operations Task Force), I will focus on enhancing and developing initiatives for us to be able to decrease Covid-19 (cases among police officers),” Cascolan said.
The ASCOTF oversees the administrative matters of the policemen deployed for the implementation of the quarantine protocols amid the pandemic.
Cascolan said he will strengthen marshaling activities of police officers in public transport vehicles and terminals to ensure that the health protocols are being followed, the establishment of barangay enforcement teams to ensure the observance of quarantine protocols in the communities as well as the red teaming to ensure that policemen are “working by the book”.
“I will see to it that everybody who imposes or implements the law shall be disciplined and should follow also the law they are implementing,” he said.
Cascolan added that he plans to visit police camps to check on the morale and the welfare of his men and to know and give solutions to several issues on the ground to ensure an unhampered service to the people.
He will also revive the eight-hour work shift for police officers which he implemented during his stint as Metro Manila police chief from April to June 2018.
Cascolan, the country’s 24th PNP chief, will only serve for over two months as he will reach the mandatory retirement age of 56 on November 10, unless President Rodrigo Duterte extends his term. He replaced outgoing chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa.
“Though I have a short term, I also have long term plans but basically I would just want to continue the service I have given this country ever since I was appointed as an officer,” said Cascolan.
Cascolan is also a member of the Philippine Military Academy Sinagtala class of 1986 along with Gamboa and former PNP chiefs Ronald dela Rosa and Oscar Albayalde. (PNA)