Albayalde's 'non-duty status' won't clear him of liability â senators
Gen. Oscar Albayalde announces he is relinquishing his positions as the chief of the Philippine National Police.
The STAR/Boy Santos
Albayalde's 'non-duty status' won't clear him of liability — senators
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - October 14, 2019 - 4:26pm

MANILA, Philippines — The decision of Police Gen. Oscar Albayalde to step down as head of the Philippine National Police will not spare him from facing administrative or criminal liability, senators stressed Monday.

Albayalde announced on Monday morning that he will relinquish his post as the chief of the 190,000-strong police force and go on "non-duty status" — retaining his rank and remaining on the police force — two weeks before he formally turns over the leadership of the PNP.

His resignation as national police chief comes as he faces allegations that he coddled subordinates involved in a 2013 drug "recycling" issue — allegedly reselling seized drugs — when he was the head of the Pampanga provincial police.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros said the decision of Albayalde—her “mistah”—was appropriate but his move to relinquish his post does not mean closure on the issue. Hontiveros’ late husband Francisco Baraquel Jr. was a classmate of Albayalde in the Philippine Military Academy.

“We need to continue to ferret out the truth, hold all responsible accountable and redeem the tarnished reputation of our police force,” Hontiveros said.

Gordon: Charges vs Albayalde possible

Sen. Richard Gordon, chair of Senate blue ribbon committee, said Albayalde “might possibly be involved in charges.”

“We’re looking at the minimum [is] neglect of duty and possible corruption and possible conspiracy to distribute drugs,” Gordon told Senate reporters Monday.

He added that there is sufficient evidence to pin down Albayalde, who has vehemently denied the allegations. 

Sen. Francis Pangilinan, said the government failed to go after all the police officers who resigned from their positions because of links to illegal drugs, corruption or incompetence.

“He (Albayalde) and all the rest should be charged for at the very least enriching themselves using their government office—regardless of them having resigned,” the opposition senator said.

‘Next PNP chief must work hard to regain credibility’

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon called for a strict and better vetting procedure for PNP officers.

“We expect a better vetting process should be instituted in the selection of next PNP chief and in general, in the assignment of PNP officers,” Drilon said in a statement.

He added: “The next PNP chief will have to work doubly hard to regain the credibility of the police community and the government’s drug war.”

Lt. Gen Archie Gamboa, PNP’s second-in-command, assumed the duties and responsibilities as the officer in charge following Albayalde’s resignation.

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