Embattled PNP Chief Albayalde bucks early retirement: Palace official

Pia Gutierrez and Bianca Dava, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 12 2019 03:10 PM | Updated as of Oct 13 2019 12:00 PM

MANILA -- (3rd UPDATE) Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Oscar Albayalde was "misquoted" when he proposed an early turnover, a Palace official said.

Quoting his mobile phone message exchange with Albayalde, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar quoted the PNP chief as saying that "My retirement is still on November 8."

Andanar said the PNP chief only proposed Oct. 29 as a possible date for the turnover in consideration of the President’s schedule.

Albayalde is at the tail-end of his term, fighting allegations that he tolerated his men who resold seized illegal drugs. Senator Richard Gordon, who is leading an inquiry into the alleged racket, said Saturday there was "enough" evidence against Albayalde.

Gordon cited the testimonies of two officials who had accused Albayalde of influencing the non-dismissal of 13 policemen who allegedly resold contraband from a 2013 raid in Pampanga province.

"We have enough to get Albayalde," said Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.

Gordon referred to the testimonies of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Aaron Aquino and former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) deputy director Brig. Gen. Rudy Lacadin.

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Albayalde, who will retire in early November, should resign from his post, Gordon said.

"We have to lay the standard. I don’t care if you’re retiring. That’s wishful thinking. If he is really guilty, even if he retires, puwede pa ring habulin 'yan (you can still run after him)," he said.

A preliminary report on the Blue Ribbon hearings is being prepared, with the investigation set to conclude next week, he said.

"When we come out, I promise you it will really be cut and dry na makikitang ang may kasalanan dapat maparusahan (we will see those who are at fault should be punished)," Gordon said.

Albayalde on Friday said he was assembling a legal team to go after his accusers. "These people have to be made responsible for their actions," he said.

LEADERSHIP RESHUFFLE

New designations in the PNP took effect Saturday, following the retirement of PNP deputy chief for administration, Lt. Gen. Fernando Mendez.

Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa replaced Mendez, while Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan replaced Gamboa as deputy chief for operations.

Major Gen. Guillermo Eleazar was promoted to Chief of the Directorial Staff of the PNP, the fourth highest post. He was previously chief of Metro Manila police.

Central Visayas Regional Director Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas will replace Eleazar as head of the National Capital Region Police Office.

Gamboa and Cascolan, Albayalde’s classmates in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Sinagtala Class of 1986, and Eleazar from the PMA Hinirang Class of 1987, are considered as frontrunners to replace Albayalde as PNP chief.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said he would submit the list of contenders for the top post in the PNP to Duterte not later than Oct. 18.