Albayalde leaves fate to President Duterte

Published October 1, 2019, 10:38 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Genalyn Kabiling

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde is prepared to abide by any decision of President Duterte about his fate, saying he is an “expendable” public servant.

PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde (Kevin Tristan Espiritu / MANILA BULLETIN)
PNP chief Police General Oscar Albayalde

Albayalde made the statement after deploring what he branded as “very childish” attempts to drag his name in the alleged presence of ninja cops in the police force during a Senate hearing.

“Let the President decide, wala naman problema. Remember, I consider myself as expendable. I’m a government employee, public servant, I think lahat kami are all expendable,” the embattled police chief said in an interview with reporters at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2.

Albayalde, however, expressed hope that the controversy would not diminish the President’s trust in him. “I hope not. Alam naman ni Presidente kung paano lumaban sa kampanya sa illegal na droga. [The President knows how hard we are fighting in the campaign against illegal drugs]. This is just a matter of perception,” he said.

Asked if he will opt for an early retirement, Albayalde said: “It depends sa view ng Presidente. Basta sabi ni Presidente, I will retire. Walang problema ‘yun.”

Albayalde will reach the mandatory retirement age of 56 on November 8.

Former PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief Benjamin Magalong and Albayalde had earlier traded barbs during a Senate inquiry on the alleged rogue cops.

Magalong identified 13 cops allegedly involved in the recycling of illegal drugs in Pampanga in 2014. Albayalde was chief of Pampanga police when his subordinates were implicated in the irregular drug operation.

Magalong claimed that Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino, then the Central Luzon police chief, was supposedly asked by Albayalde not to implement the dismissal order against the cops.

Albayalde, however, strongly denied allegations that he tried to intervene in the case of the cops in Pampanga. He said he merely asked the status of the case.

For now, Albayalde said the police force would sustain the relentless campaign against illegal drugs and would not join the “very childish” bickering about the alleged rogue cops.

He said it was “ungentlemanly” and “unstatesmanlike” of a public official to put words in the mouth of another official.

“We will concentrate on the campaign against illegal drugs because this is the promise of the government or the promise of the President to the Filipino people. We will not relent dito sa kampanya sa illegal drugs,” he said.

“We will not involve ourselves in this very childish sagutan lang na ganyan (exchange of words). Basta we will concentrate on what the President wants us to do,” he added.

He said the President has directed the police to do what is right and do their job.