EXCLUSIVE: Albayalde says stepping down is 'best decision' for PNP

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 14 2019 04:04 PM | Updated as of Oct 14 2019 04:22 PM

Former Philippine National Police Chief General Oscar Albayalde. Mike Alquinto, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Stepping down as chief of the Philippine National Police is the "best decision" to protect the morale of the police force, General Oscar Albayalde explained Monday.

Albayalde said leaving the helm of the PNP unburdened him of stress as he fought allegations he protected his men accused of selling seized narcotics. The decision is also meant "to spare the PNP from further demoralization."

"For the past few weeks, talagang may stress talaga pero sa ngayon after what I decided this morning, medyo na-release na din," he told ABS-CBN News.

"That is the best decision na nagawa ko given the circumstances," he added.

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Albayalde said he was going on non-duty status starting Monday. He said last week that he was leaving the PNP top post on Oct. 29. He will retire on Nov. 8, when he turns 56.

Albayalde was head of the Pampanga police when 13 of its officers were accused of pilfering some 160 kilos of shabu from a 2013 operation against a suspected Chinese drug lord.

Former police official Benjamin Magalong, in a recent Senate hearing, claimed Albayalde sought to defer the dismissal order against his former subordinates.

Another retired police official, Rudy Lacadin, later claimed that Albayalde called him up to inquire about the case of the so-called "ninja cops" and allegedly admitted that some of the drug loot went to him but "only a little."

Albayalde said his accusers may have "personal reasons" on linking him to corruption.

"May mga personal reasons siguro na sila lang ang nakakaalam, mga accusers ko lang," he said.

IMPACT ON FAMILY

Albayalde explained that part of his decision to resign was brought about by his conversation with his family over the weekend.

The former top cop said the allegations against him had a "huge" impact on his family, particularly his children.

"Remember kapag ang father naapektuhan, the whole family is affected," Albayalde said, noting that his youngest daughter was the "most affected" of the issue.

"I'm sure naintindihan naman nila...They were part of my decision," he added.

Albayalde is the second PNP chief under President Rodrigo Duterte. He succeeded now-Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa who initially led Duterte's fierce anti-narcotics crackdown.