RESIGNED Philippine National Police chief General Oscar D. Albayalde marked his 56th birthday yesterday without any fanfare as he did not take advantage of any retirement honors traditionally accorded to a retiring national police chief.
Journal Group sources said that the former PNP chief instead opted to spend his actual retirement day and birthday with his family, relatives and good old friends at the Albayalde residence in Pampanga.
With his official retirement, anybody who will be designated by President Duterte as Albayalde’s retirement will immediately get his 4 stars.
However, the President is yet to name any new PNP chief as of press time yesterday.
This despite speculations that Duterte will announce his third PNP chief and the 23rd PNP chief in the country’s history as soon as Albayalde retires.
Officers and men of the 195,000-strong police force are hoping that President Duterte will name an official replacement for Gen. Albayalde amid the Commander-in-Chief’s recent pronouncement that “honesty” is the only standard he will be looking when he chooses his third national police chief.
At present, the PNP has an Officer-in-Charge in the person of Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, a lawyer-classmate from Philippine Military Academy ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986 of Gen. Albayalde.
Apart from Gamboa, his classmate, PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, Lt. Gen. Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan and PNP Chief Directorial Staff Major Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar have been named as the top three candidates to replace Albayalde who resigned ahead of his November 8 actual retirement date.
A fourth candidate is newly-installed Police Regional Office 4-A director Brigadier General Vicente D. Danao Jr., a former Davao City Police Office director known for his close association with the President. Danao, a member of PMA ‘Sambisig’ Class of 1991 was the Manila Police District director before he was designated as PRO4-A director in Calabarzon region last week.
Brig. Gen. Gilbert DC Cruz, a member of PNP Academy Class 1986 and currently the PNP Director for Integrated Police Operations-Western Mindanao as well as PRO11 director in Southern Mindanao Brig. Gen. Filmore B. Escobal, also a member of PMA Class 1991, have also been mentioned as among the possible candidates for the top PNP post.