MANILA - Eradicating the "culture of wrongdoing" should be the top priority of Police Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa as he is expected to take the helm of the Philippine National Police (PNP), a National Police Commission (Napolcom) official said Saturday.
"If people are corrupt-free, then all the other programs in law enforcement will follow suit. For instance, the drug problem will succeed because corruption is no longer part of it," Napolcom vice chairman Rogelio Casurao told ANC's "Dateline."
The commission exercises administrative powers over the PNP.
"To me, this I think is the point being driven out by President [Rodrigo Duterte], try to reform your ways in the PNP. Try to eradicate the culture of corruption," he said, referring to the President's repeated admonitions to the force regarding corruption.
"Try to eradicate the culture of wrongdoing because all other programs will have to succeed because people who are in the organization are free of any ill-intent in the government," Casurao added.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said he would appoint Gamboa, currently officer-in-charge of the 190,000-strong police force, as the next PNP chief.
He replaced Oscar Albayalde who relinquished his post on Oct. 14 amid allegations he protected some police officers accused of selling seized narcotics in 2013, when he was Pampanga police chief.
A a member of the Philippine Military Academy's Sinagtala Class of 1986, he was a classmate of former chiefs Albayalde and now Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa.
During the interview, Casurao said he believed the PNP could transform its ways under Gamboa's leadership. He only has 9 months to lead the police force before he retires in September.
"I still have that strong belief with the leadership of PNP under Lt. Gen. Gamboa and of course [Interior] Sec. [Eduardo] Año. A lot can be expected to see a fully improved, fully reliable police department that would really be something to be proud of," he said.
Police officers have been repeatedly tagged in corrupt practices, including extortion and other police abuses.
Earlier this week, the justice department indicted Albayalde and 12 police officers for alleged graft over a 2013 drug raid where the officers allegedly sold seized narcotics.