President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Camilo Cascolan as an undersecretary at the Office of the President, the Palace announced Wednesday.
Cascolan’s appointment paper was signed on Monday, said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.
“Kinukumpirma po natin na napirmahan na noong Lunes, February 22, ang appointment paper ng dating PNP chief Camilo Cascolan — kababayan ko po ‘yan — bilang undersecretary sa Office of the President. Welcome aboard, Usec. Cascolan,” Roque said during his televised briefing.
Cascolan was named the 24th police chief on 2 September, and he held the position for two months until he retired upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56. He also served as the officer-in-charge of the PNP upon the retirement of his predecessor Archie Gamboa.
The four-star general was replaced on 10 November by Debold Sinas, who earned the public’s ire over a mañanita or traditional dawn serenade during his 55th birthday last May at the height of strict quarantine rules in Metro Manila and several provinces.
Cascolan earlier said he was willing to accept any government post after his retirement.
He is the fourth member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Sinagtala Class of 1986 to be appointed as top cop, next to police chief-turned-lawmaker Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, Oscar Albayalde, and Gamboa.
The PMA Class 1986 was instrumental in Duterte’s controversial campaign against illegal drugs, with dela Rosa initiating it and Cascolan refining it through OPLAN Double — which targets both street-level drug pushing and big-time drug traffickers — when he was still the head of the Directorate for Operations.
The PNP was kicked out twice from the anti-narcotics drive after the death of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos who was killed by Caloocan City police but was made to appear that he traded shots with cops.
Duterte’s drug war has so far killed 6,000 suspected drug users and pushers since 2016 according to government data, but human rights groups peg the fatalities at 20,000.