Twenty-one police officers were affected by the revamp, which covered designations in the Philippine National Police headquarters and regional units.
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Police revamp prevents familiarity — Palace
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - October 22, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte supports a plan to implement a major revamp in the Philippine National Police as the PNP struggles to survive the controversy brought by the alleged involvement of some police officers in the recycling of illegal drugs seized during raids.

Twenty-one police officers were affected by the revamp, which covered designations in the PNP headquarters and regional units.

The revamp took effect a week after former PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde stepped down from his post over the “ninja cops” issue.

Albayalde has been accused of protecting his former men, who carried out a questionable anti-drug raid in 2013. 

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said yesterday that Duterte gave the go-signal to implement the revamp during a command conference at Malacañang last week.

“He agreed with the revamp. That’s good for the PNP. Any revamp will always be good for an organization after a while because mahirap iyong magkakaroon ka na ng ugat doon sa mga posisyon ninyo (it wouldn’t be good if you stay too long in your post),” Panelo said. “Tama lang iyon (It’s the right thing to do).”

Panelo said Duterte did not mention the reasons why the revamp is necessary. During the conference, Duterte reportedly scolded police officials and expressed disappointment with some law enforcers who still engaged in the illegal drug trade despite the increase in their salaries and benefits. 

‘Let the law take its course’

Panelo also said Malacañang would just let the law take its course in the case against Albayalde, who has been included in the amended complaint of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group against the “ninja cops” or policemen accused of reselling confiscated drugs. 

“From the very start we said, if they feel that they have a case against anyone then they can file it and let the law take its course,” he said.

Albayalde and 13 of his former men have been charged with graft, qualified bribery, falsification of public documents, dereliction of duty, and violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act. 

Postponed

The ceremony for the assumption of command of the next PNP chief has been postponed, the PNP said in an advisory issued yesterday.

The advisory did not provide any reason for the deferment of the ceremony, which was originally set on Oct. 29, or 10 days before the retirement of Albayalde on Nov. 8.

The PNP said it would release updates as soon as it obtains new details of the event.

A government official who asked not to be identified said the postponement has something to do with Duterte’s participation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leaders Summit in Bangkok, Thailand.

He declined to give other details.

Duterte will leave for the ASEAN event on the first week of November.

Albayalde has stepped down from his post amid allegations of his alleged involvement in the recycling of drugs when he was chief of Pampanga police.

Probation

Meanwhile, police officials holding key positions have been placed under a three-month probationary status to assess their performance.

PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa said the probation will affect police regional directors and those in the directorial staff and national support units.

Gamboa put on hold all promotions for star-ranked officers while their performance is being assessed during the probationary period.

The move, Gamboa said, will ensure fresh ideas and substantial results in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs and other crimes.

“I will make sure the ax will fall where it should if these leaders will not deliver results,” Gamboa said at a press briefing in Camp Crame.

The PNP on Sunday implemented a major reshuffle, affecting 21 police officials holding various positions nationwide.

Gamboa imposed the revamp a week after Duterte scolded police officials due to the issue on drug recycling by some police officers. – With Emmanuel Tupas

OSCAR ALBAYALDE
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