Top PNP post is destiny – Cascolan

Police Lieutenant General Camilo Pancratius Cascolan, PNP deputy chief for operations; and Brigadier General Rene Pamuspusan, PRO-6 director, check the firearms that were either surrendered by the owner or seized in police operations during the re-launch of Tokhang Kontra Armas Luthang at Camp Delgado in Iloilo City on Thursday. (Jennifer P. Rendon)

By: Jennifer P. Rendon 

HOW does one work his way to becoming the highest-ranking police officer in the country?

Aside from doing your job well, there’s not much that one can do, Police Lieutenant General Camilo Pancratius Cascolan said.

Cascolan is the Philippine National Police (PNP) deputy chief for operations, the third highest post in the organization.

He is also one of the top three contenders for the PNP chief post, along with acting PNP chief Police Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa and PNP chief of staff Police Major General Guillermo Eleazar.

“I’m humbled with my name being part of the list already. But 4-star is a destiny,” he said during his visit to Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 headquarters in Iloilo City on Thursday.

Cascolan said the post means a lot of work and if chosen by President Rodrigo Duterte to head the PNP, he would be working hard and thanking him.

But he admitted that it’s a very big challenge to the PNP right now “considering that there were a lot of things that happened. We were in a crisis and we still are in a crisis. We still have to take the trust and confidence, and most especially, respect of the people,” he said.

Cascolan added, “if ever we’re chosen, maraming salamat. We would do our job and through that we would know that the trust and confidence is given to a person who has high integrity and credibility.”

He declined to answer when asked about his edge from other contenders.

Instead, “would be best if you would look into what we have done so far, kung ano ang pinagdaanan natin or what you call our career ladder. There’s what you also call service reputation. And we have a credibility and integrity that we taken cared of ever since,” he said.

Following the “ninja cop” controversy that forced former PNP chief Oscar Albayalde to resign, Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año submitted three candidates to the President.

While Gamboa and Cascolan are identified as “Davao boys,” Eleazar was regarded an outsider.

Gamboa went to law school at the Ateneo de Davao University before transferring to the Camp Crame-based Jose Rizal University. He eventually passed the bar in 2004.

Gamboa, who was born in Bukidnon, was assigned in Davao in late 1997 to 2002.

Cascolan, on the other hand, had been assigned to police stations in Iloilo province from 1992 until 1998.

He also led Taguig City from 2008 until 2010 and Compostela Valley province from 2012 to 2014.

On the other hand, Eleazar is regarded a dark horse. He gained prominence when he led the Metro Manila police.