Albayalde steps down as PNP chief

Albayalde steps down as PNP chief

MANILA — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde relinquished his post as he goes into non-duty status (NDS) effective Monday barely more than three weeks before his mandatory retirement amid allegations dragging him into the reselling of seized illegal drugs.

He said his move aims to pave the way for President Rodrigo R. Duterte to choose the new PNP chief.

“After careful thought and deliberation, I have come to the decision to relinquish my post as Chief, PNP effective today and go on a non-duty status. I have submitted my letter of intent to Secretary Año which he accepted and favorably endorsed to the President,” Albayalde told PNP personnel during his speech at the flag-raising ceremony in Camp Crame on Monday.

“Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to talk to the SILG (Secretary of Interior and Local Government) Eduardo Año, about the events that have transpired in recent days, particularly the Senate investigation on the alleged “agaw-bato” issue in which I am being implicated,” he said.

Albayalde, who is set to retire on Nov. 8, was implicated in the issue of “ninja cops” or policemen involved in reselling illegal drugs.

He was the Pampanga provincial police director when 13 of his men were involved in an anti-illegal drug operation in November 2013 which was found to be irregular.

Albayalde has been in hot water in the past weeks after he allegedly intervened with the implementation of the dismissal order against the 13 cops which was investigated by the Senate justices committee. He repeatedly denied the accusations being thrown against him.

Año said Deputy Chief for Administration Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa will serve as the PNP’s officer-in-charge until such time that Duterte appoints Albayalde’s successor.

In a statement, Año said he endorsed Albayalde’s intent to Duterte on Sunday night which he said had been accepted.

He also commended Albayalde for his “selfless act in order to spare the PNP organization of the on-going controversy”.

“This will allow the PNP to move on and continue exercising its mandate of protecting and serving the people. I thank him for his dedicated and distinguished service as head of the PNP,” he said.

Año confirmed that Albayalde had been contemplating going on an NDS since last week.

“He had been contemplating that move since last week. He wrote a letter to the President and he formally submitted the letter to me last Saturday,” said Año in a radio interview.

Año also revealed that Gamboa, Lt. Gen. Camilo Pancratius Cascolan, who was named new Deputy Chief for Operations, and Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, who was named as Chief Directorial Staff, are candidates as next PNP chief.

“Gamboa, oo candidate nga siya (Yes, Gamboa is a candidate) but he is the most senior police official, kasama siya doon sa shortlist na isa-submit natin (he is included in the shortlist that we will submit also including) Gen. Cascolan, at (and) Maj. Gen. Eleazar pero baka tingnan natin baka meron pang idagdag ako, depende na lang within the week isa-submit ko ‘yan (but let’s see, we might add more, within the week I will submit the list),” Año said in a separate radio interview.

He said he would submit his recommendation letter on October 18.

In a press briefing in Camp Crame, Gamboa said that he would ensure the continuity of plans and projects.

“With this responsibility, I assure the continuous implementation of all ongoing campaign plans on internal security, anti-criminality, anti-illegal drugs and anti-corruption in line with national priorities and direction of President Rodrigo Duterte who is expected to appoint the 23rd Chief PNP in the coming days,” Gamboa said.  Christopher Lloyd Caliwan / PNA – northboundasia.com