Albayalde’s recommendation for successor would be a ‘kiss of death’

October 05, 2019

MIRED in a major controversy that would naturally affect his future and  even that of his family, it is highly-expected that whoever gets the recommendation of beleaguered General Oscar Albayalde to replace him as Chief,PNP would get a ‘kiss of death.’

Many police officials have been telling me that obviously, President Duterte will ask Albayalde for the list of the ‘Chief,PNP-tiables’ or the best candidates to replace him and thus, whoever will Gen. Albayalde endorses will get a kiss of death.’

As I have written in my previous column, a very highly-reliable source told me that the President has chosen who will be Gen. Albayalde’s successor in the days or weeks to come. The clue is the next Chief,PNP has the Letters ‘A’ and ‘R’ in his name.

Right now, the top three contenders to replace Gen. Albayalde are PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, Lieutenant Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa, PNP Chief Directorial Staff, Lt. Gen. Camilo Pancratius or ‘Pikoy’ Cascolan and National Capital Region Police Office director, Major. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar or ‘Gilor’ to many.

All three are highly-qualified for the post, having shone in their respective career through the years. Both Gamboa and Cascolan are known ‘Davao Boys’ too and classmates from PMA ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986 of Gen. Albayalde while the hardworking Eleazar who is a known Albayalde protégé belongs to PMA ‘Hinirang’ Class of 1987.

Then there are two  underclassmen of the three, Manila Police District director, Brigadier Gen. Vic Danao Jr. and Police Security and Protection Group director, Brig. Gen. Filmore Escobal, both members of PMA ‘Sambisig’ Class of 1991.

Add to the list the name of another Davao City boy—he is actually the brother of a key security aide of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte—PMA ‘Makatao’ Class of 1989 member, Brig. Gen. Valeriano de Leon of the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office and Brig. Gen. Gilbert dela Cruz Cruz, a member of PNP Academy Class 1986 who has been recommended to the President by a letter-writer.

Next only to the President, the Chief,PNP is touted to be the 2nd most powerful man in the entire country due to the vast influence and power he wields. As I have said, if luck will smile on him, Gen. Albayalde will bow out from the service on his 56th birthday this coming November 8.

However, there will always be the possibility that the unpredictable President Duterte may cut short his term as a result of the ‘Ninja Cops’ issue that has embarrassed the organization over the past two weeks. While writing this piece, I got the information that the President will let DILG Secretary Ed Año to finish his probe on the matter before making his final decision. The word I heard is that it would not be good for the Chief,PNP.

Gen. Albayalde over the past two weeks have been trying hard to explain his belief that politics may be behind the accusations linking him to the highly-irregular 2013 anti-narcotics operation of his intelligence officers from the Pampanga Police Provincial Office led by then Superintendent-now demoted Major Rodney Baloyo.

The Chief,PNP has been questioning the timing of the allegations and said it may have something to do with his replacement. “They will destroy my reputation, my integrity so that kapag ako ay nag-endorse sa Presidente that’s a kiss of death already. Wala kasi akong makitang ibang motibo eh,” he has been saying.

He was referring to charges made by retired General, now Baguio City Mayor Benjie Magalong of PMA ‘Sandigan’ Class  of 1982 that he attempted to block the dismissal of  Baloyo et al over the controversial raid when he was still the Pampanga police director, a fact confirmed by PDEA chair, retired Gen. Aaron Aquino of PMA ‘Sandiwa’ Class of 1985.

Senators and highly-credible witnesses so far have succeeded in pointing out that the rogue Pampanga policemen supposedly kept 160 kilograms of shabu for themselves , presented only 38 kilos of the drug to the press and got  P50 million and new SUVs in exchange for the freed real drug lord identified as Johnson Lee.

However, in the interest of fair reporting, I would like to mention points raised by some Albayalde supporters. First is the ‘timing’ of Gen. Magalong’s expose. “He had all the authority to investigate when he was still the CIDG director, the director of the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management and later PNP Deputy Chief for Operations. Why only now? ” they asked me.