By Mario Casayuran
Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Saturday said that President Duterte is still keeping his options open on the possible replacement for retired Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Oscar Albayalde.
Go also said that the President has ordered the police force to concentrate on the government’s effort to address the illegal drug problem and criminality in the country instead of focusing on who would lead the PNP next.
‘’As far as I know, most likely there is none yet, He said just put it as it is, they have to first work and let them all show [their effort] in the campaign against drugs, stop criminality” Go said.
The Chief Executive has yet to appoint the next PNP chief, a post still vacant after Albayalde bowed out of the police force as he reached the mandatory retirement age of 56 last November 8, 2019.
Asked if the President was having difficulty in choosing the right person to lead the PNP, Go pointed out that all candidates were qualified to replace Albayalde.
But the President was looking not only for the best, but the most honest one, he added.
Go was a close confidant of then Davao city Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte and later served as Special Assistant to President Duterte.
‘’All the candidates are good and qualified. The President is having hard time. He is looking for the almost perfect, honest. While you’re late in the class, he is looking for an honest [next PNP chief],” he said.
Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte said he was taking his time in choosing the next chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
The names of Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan and Major Gen. Guillermo Eleazar were among those floated to succeed Albayalde, Go said.
“They are all good. They are soldiers. They came from the Academy. I have no doubt about their integrity, but I’m taking my time appointing one,” Duterte had said in a press briefing at the Malacañang Palace.
Asked for his reason, the President replied that he would be appointing the heads of every department there, especially the comptroller and the finance people.
‘’Sino ‘yung gusto niyang mapunta doon. Sino ‘yong kaibigan niya (Who wants to be placed there. Who is his friend),’’ he said.
Albayalde stepped down from his post in late October following allegations he protected his men who were accused of confiscating and selling more than half billion pesos worth of ‘’shabu’’ (crystal meth) in Mexico, Pampanga.