PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte could not hide his displeasure over the series of unfortunate events that have rocked the Philippine National Police over the past few weeks leading to the resignation of General Oscar D. Albayalde, officials who attended a joint PNP-Armed Forces command conference at Malacañang Palace Tuesday night told the Journal Group yesterday.
“If I were to describe it, the President looked dismayed last night. He was not his usual self as he asked officers present why these things were still happening,” one police general who demanded anonymity said.
The official said that those in attendance in Tuesday’s command conference were expecting the President to announce the name of the official who will replace Gen. Albayalde as PNP chief.
However, the President did not make any announcement and instead expressed wonder why some policemen continue to engage in illicit activities notwithstanding the fact that he has doubled their salary and gave the police force the money needed by the organization to further improve its “move, shoot, communicate and investigate” capabilities that no other administration gave the PNP.
“The President seemed to be really unhappy with the developments in the PNP, he looked sad with the unfortunate events,” said another general.
PNP Officer-in-Charge Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa and the other top contenders for the PNP chief post — PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, Lt. Gen. Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan, PNP Chief, Major Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar and Manila Police District director, Brigadier Gen. Vicente D. Danao Jr. — were among the top officials present during the command conference.
The others were members of the 10 PNP Directorial Staff and directors of the 17 Police Regional Offices and National Support Units.
Hours before the command conference, police officers and men rallied behind Gamboa who asked them to pursue their unrelenting campaign against drugs, crime, terror and corruption after he replaced Gen. Albayalde on Monday.
“This is a temporary sequence of events that’s going to happen in the next few days. This is a transition but we should not be remiss of our job. Let’s do our job, you know your job—on a daily basis what you’re supposed to do, and let not the other controversies affect us. Let us continue to work to serve and to protect our people,” Gamboa said in his message to all PNP personnel.