Albayalde to commanders: Exercise real leadership

November 17, 2018
Oscar D. Albayalde

IRKED by the involvement of rogue policemen in criminal activities and the three cases of deadly ambuscades in La Union this year, the latest of which killed Balaoan Vice-Mayor Alfred Concepcion and his aide last Wednesday morning, Philippine National Police chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde scolded concerned officers in a closed-door conference in Camp Crame on Thursday, the Journal Group learned yesterday.

“The Chief, PNP was fuming at the spate of embarrassing incidents, many of them attributed to the failure of some police commanders to take appropriate actions that could have prevented those incidents,” said a senior official present when Gen. Albayalde ‘scolded’ his men for nearly 2-hours.

Officials said they are assessing the performance of Police Regional Office 1 officials in the wake of the three deadly ambuscades in the province this year.  The PRO1 which has jurisdiction over the provinces of La Union, Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur is headed by Chief Superintendent Romulo E. Sapitula who will be retiring on April 25, 2019.

Last May 12, former La Union Representative Eufranio Eriguel, his two aides and a supporter were killed by gunmen who attacked them as they were attending a Sangguniang Kabataan meeting in Barangay Capas in Agoo municipality.

Last October 1, assassins shot dead Sudipen town mayor Alexander Buquing, his policeman-bodyguard and a driver during a daring attack that also wounded the mayor’s wife, Vice-Mayor Wendy Joy Buquing.

What got the PNP chief’s goat was the third incident in Balaoan town last Wednesday morning which killed Concepcion and wounded his daughter Mayor Aleli Concepcion.

In all three incidents, the local police suspected that guns-for-hire working for political rivals of the victims were behind the deadly attacks. However, Camp Crame officials said they were puzzled why those attacks continued with police seemingly helpless in stopping the assassins despite the PNP leadership’s directive for a massive crackdown against partisan armed groups, guns-for-hire and loose firearms that could be used to sow terror during the May 2019 mid-term polls.