SOME Philippine National Police officials have publicly aired their full support for beleaguered PNP chief General Oscar D. Albayalde amid the controversy hounding him as a result of a 2013 highly-irregular anti-narcotics operation conducted by his former men.
During other past controversies involving former PNP chiefs, it had been customary for PNP generals to sign a manifesto of support for the sitting PNP chief.
This time, Camp Crame observers say they are yet to see a public statement of support for Gen. Albayalde who will be retiring from the force this coming November 8. Apparently, no one is initiating the move.
The most visible defender of Gen. Albayalde, of course, is his spokesman and chief of the PNP Public Information Office, Brigadier General Bernard M. Banac. However, it is but natural for Banac, a member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Tanglaw Diwa’ Class of 1992 to explain the side of the PNP chief since it is part of his job.
On Sunday, another PNP official, Major General Benigno B. Durana Jr. of PMA ‘Maringal’ Class of 1988 commented on President Duterte’s defense of the embattled PNP chief.
“Mabuti pa si Presidente topnotch ang wisdom bilang isang leader at abogado. Ang iba dyan baliktad. You are already presumed guilty unless proven otherwise beyond reasonable doubt,” Durana, the director of the PNP Directorate for Police-Community Relations said.
For his part, Police Regional Office 7 director Brig. Gen. Debold M. Sinas of PMA ‘Hinirang’ Class of 1987 said Gen. Albayalde continues to enjoy the full support of the Central Visayas police force.
“Of course, we always have…We’d like to support our Chief, PNP and he still has our trust and confidence,” said Sinas who added that the controversy has not affected his and his men’s morale.
The Central Visayas police is implementing a massive campaign against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption.
“We don’t stop our operations. We don’t get low morale because of what happened in the Senate. I know the Chief, PNP could defend himself and we will be behind him,” Sinas said as he reminded his men to continue doing their job and refrain from making any opinion on the issue in public so as not to polarize the police force.
National Capital Region Police Office chief Major General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar, another member of PMA Class 1987 who is rumored as Gen. Albayalde’s “choice” to replace him also aired his support for his superior while calling on the Metro Manila police to remain busy with their anti-criminality and anti-corruption campaign.
The PNP chief said he was thankful to President Duterte and Interior Secretary Eduardo M. Año for giving him the opportunity to be heard in a proper probe body.
“With their assurance of impartiality and due process, I am ready to face investigation to once and for all clear my name and spare the PNP from further embarrassment and unwanted public opinion created by these internal and external political machinations,” he said.