Last Tuesday now senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go was quoted in one local paper as saying President Rodrigo Duterte could choose a one-star general to be the next chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Knowing Senator Go as still the closest confidant of the President despite his having moved by election to the Legislative Branch of the government, it would be safe for people to assume that the neophyte national lawmaker from Davao City is hinting on certain possibilities. That is, that the President might have in mind a lower ranked general for the country’s highest police post.
Of course the PNP Officer-in-Charge, 3-star General Archie Gamboa, hails from Davao though he may not be of native Davaoeno parentage. But Gamboa had been educated in Davao City schools specifically at the Ateneo de Davao University until he decided to move and qualified for the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).
Should a one-star police general be chosen by the President to take the place of General Oscar Albayalde who went on a non-reporting status (NRS) after he was embroiled in the Ninja Cops controversy, then the most likely choice would be now one-star general Vicente Danao. He is the regional police director in Region 4-A after having held the helm of the Manila Police District.
P/Gen. Danao was city director of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) beyond the normal length of tour of duty of a city or provincial police director. And his stint as such in the city made the Davaoenos proud of their peace and order.
General Gamboa however, could still remain a cinch for the appointment because his name has never been linked to any controversy that had reached the highest level in the police organization. That is in addition to his being raised in Davao City.
And as if to put emphasis on his being a Davaoeno, during the last time that he was in the city already as the PNP OIC, he spoke in the Cebuano dialect much more fluent than those who proudly claim they are from Davao.
Anyhow, as the Presidential confidant and senator with closest tie to the President, Go could be bringing to the surface the possibility of the President appointing one among those candidate with Davao “connection.”
But if the President is to avoid having his boat in the anti-criminality journey rocked by potential negative issues in his appointing a candidate with the Davao link, then he needs all honest and fair inputs on the candidates for the next PNP chief laid on his table. He must evaluate each of the aspirants’ records, and have them vetted before he makes his final decision.
The President must remind himself with the old adage, “Beware of the Greeks bearing gifts,” or those carrying with them endorsements from influential political backers. His final choice could lead his administration to the road to perdition.
A good number of people have dark secrets that would eventually be drawn out to the surface after some time. Albayalde is one living example though still to be proven in courts.
We urge the families who are living in areas identified by the Davao City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRNO) as high risk for landslides, to comply with the admonition of the local executives to evacuate their place. The order for the evacuation came after a team from the city government conducted inspections and evaluation of the situation on the danger prone areas.
The validation inspection in areas reported with weakened ground structure were undertakenn after three successive high-intensity earthquakes struck the city and its neigh boring provinces of Davao del Sur, North Cotabato, Sarangani, and South Cotabato. The strong temblors had rendered several municipalities and the cities of Digos, Kidapawan, General Santos and Koronadal destructions of various degrees that triggered massive evacuation by residents to designated centers.
Davao City, though with a very minimal damage except for a collapsed condominium building, had majority of its structures, both high and low rise, subjected to evaluation as to its habitability. Some of its residential villages have to undergo thorough inspections to check whether the three earthquakes did not affect the stability of the grounds.
Early last week, the validation team had already identified some villages most vulnerable to landslides in the event another strong tremor will shake the city.
The residents are ordered to abandon their homes before it’s too late. But doing such could be a difficult decision, especially when the families living in those identified villages lack or do not have the resources to move to safer grounds. Hence we can understand their hesitation. However, if the city government is really serious in ensuring that its people are in safe areas when another disaster strikes, then it must be ready to help the potential victims move out and find their safe havens.