EMBATTLED Philippine National Police chief General Oscar D. Albayalde remained in a fighting mood yesterday as he readied to file charges against the ex-police generals whom he claimed gave “false and baseless testimonies” against him during the past two Senate inquiries.
The PNP chief has sought the assistance of former Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza in studying the charges he would file against his accusers led by former-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group director-turned Baguio City Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong and former Police Regional Office 3 director retired Brigadier Gen. Rudy G. Lacadin.
The PNP chief meanwhile carried on with his job as he ordered a reshuffle of his Command Group with the retirement of the PNP’s no. 2 official, PNP Deputy Chief for Administration, Lieutenant Gen. Fernando H. Mendez Jr.
Who’s next PNP chief?
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año yesterday said within seven days he will submit to President Duterte his recommendation on who will be the country’s next top cop.
In a press conference at the DILG/NAPOLCOM building, Año said that the name or names will be on the President’s desk on October 18.
The President, according to the DILG chief, said he will be waiting for who Año will recommend to replace outgoing PNP chief General Oscar Albayalde who is set to retire on November 8.
Año declined when asked for a hint saying he will be submitting at least three names. He did not elaborate further.
In the meantime, the guessing game continues on who among the three top PNP officials would get the President’s nod.
Will it be Lieutenant General Archie Gamboa, the PNP’s new Deputy Chief for Administration (DCA), or Lieutenant Gen. Camilo Cascolan, newly-designated Deputy Chief for Operation (DCO), or the police’ new Chief Directorial Staff Maj. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar?
Another contender who is considered a dark horse is Manila Police District chief Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. of PMA Sambisig Class of 1991.
Danao served as Davao City police chief from 2013 to 2016 when President Duterte was still a mayor.
Also floated was Brig. Gen. Gilbert Cruz, a member of PNP Academy Batch 86.
Año said it is President Duterte who has the last say on who will replace the beleaguered Albayalde, now being investigated in the case of the so-called ninja cops.
Calls for the PNP chief’s early retirement or resignation have mounted as a result of the allegations and speculations he coddled the 13 cops accused of recycling drugs they supposedly confiscated from a drug lord six years ago.
Albayalde however said he will not step down as he vehemently denied the accusations leveled at him dismissing them as politically motivated.
Meanwhile, Año denied having prevented Albayalde from stepping down at the height of a Senate investigation into the ninja cops issue bared by former police general and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong.
Año told reporters that the last time he talked to the PNP chief was Tuesday or a day before the Senate hearing.
“Wala naman kaming napag-usapan na resignation na yan . . kung meron man s’yang resignation letter ay dapat sa Presidente nya ia-address yan. . . hindi naman ako ang authority to accept. . . yung huli naming pag-uusp nung Tuesday ay wala kaming napag-usapan na ganyan,” he said.
The DILG chief added that what they talked about was the overall effort of the PNP to get rid of scalawags and how to sustain the purge while in transition after Albayalde’s retirement.
With Joel dela Torre