Albayalde retires, will spend ‘quality time’ with family
MANILA, Philippines — Former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Oscar Albayalde quietly retired from the service yesterday, weeks after he stepped down from his post over allegations he was a protector of “ninja cops,” the term for police officers engaged in reselling of narcotics seized in raids.
Albayalde, the 22nd chief of the 190,000-strong police force, turned 56 yesterday, the mandatory retirement age for police officers. He went on non-duty status on Oct. 14 while fending off accusations of involvement in the drug trade.
Asked by The STAR about his plans, Albayalde said in a text message: “I will spend quality time with my family.”
Albayalde’s term as PNP chief started smoothly with his intensified internal cleansing drive against errant policemen.
He celebrated his birthday with a few close friends, including police officials who remained loyal to him, especially at the height of the ninja cops controversy.
A police official who spoke on condition of anonymity said Albayalde opted for a simple gathering at a restaurant-bar in Metro Manila.
Albayalde has vehemently denied taking part in an irregular anti-illegal drug operation where 13 policemen previously under his command reportedly kept 160 kilograms of shabu worth P648 million, receiving P50 million in cash and brand new sport utility vehicles in exchange for releasing a suspected Chinese drug trafficker arrested in Mexico town on Nov. 29, 2013.
At the time of the raid, Albayalde – then a colonel – was Pampanga provincial director.
As the National Police Commission (Napolcom) has not filed administrative charges against Albayalde, the former PNP chief will receive his retirement benefits, including monthly pension of P200,000.
PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said Albayalde has opted to skip the traditional retirement ceremony.
Retirement honors usually coincide with the turnover of leadership, but President Duterte has yet to choose Albayalde’s successor.
Three officers in the shortlist of candidates for the top PNP post are Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa, the current officer-in-charge of the PNP; deputy chief for operations Lt. Gen. Camilo Pancratius Cascolan and chief of the directorial staff Maj. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar.
Gamboa and Cascolan are classmates of Albayalde in the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1986 while Eleazar belongs to PMA Class of the 1987.