MANILA - Over a month from now, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde will step down from his post upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56.
Four top officials have come out as possible successors to the top police post.
Two contenders are Albayalde’s “mistahs” or classmates in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Sinagtala Class of 1986 — PNP deputy chief for operations Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa and PNP chief directorial staff Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan.
Gamboa was the commander of the PNP National Security Task Force for the 2019 midterm elections.
Well-trained in administrative matters and procurement, Gamboa, if chosen to be the next PNP chief, will serve for ten months as he is set to retire in September 2020.
Cascolan, on the other hand, was among those who authored the Oplan Double Barrel, which became the PNP’s flagship program in the war against illegal drugs. This includes the controversial Oplan Tokhang.
Cascolan also served as the chief of the PNP Directorate for Operations and NCRPO director, replacing Albayalde.
He was assigned as police director of Compostela Valley and as chief of the Taguig Police.
Cascolan is set to retire in November next year.
Another official who could possibly succeed Albayalde is Metro Manila police director Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, a member of the PMA Hinirang Class of 1987.
Like Albayalde, Eleazar is known for his aggressive approach in combating crimes in Metro Manila, as well as in inspecting and berating cops caught sleeping while on duty.
He also used to be the director of the Quezon City Police District.
Should he be chosen as the next PNP chief, Eleazar will lead the 190,000-strong police force for two years as he is set to retire in November 2021.
Another contender, who is also considered a dark horse, is Manila Police District chief Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. of the PMA Sambisig Class of 1991.
Danao served as Davao City police chief from 2013 to 2016, when President Rodrigo Duterte was still mayor.
Danao was then assigned as the deputy chief for operations of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
The youngest among the four, the one-star general will retire in August 2023.
Aside from Danao, Gamboa and Cascolan had also previously served in Davao Region, home province of Duterte.