Top Philippine cop resigns after accusation of link to drug scandal

Elias Hubbard
October 15, 2019

Oscar Albayalde, the head of the Philippine National Police, has resigned amid a drugs scandal.

He will be on "non-duty status" - equivalent to terminal leave - until his compulsory retirement on November 8.

"After careful thought and deliberation, I have come to the decision to relinquish my post as chief, PNP, effective today and go on non-duty status", he announced at a flag-raising event at the PNP's main camp in Manila.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said he would submit to the President up to five candidates for the next PNP chief. Three days later, Albayalde formalized his decision.

Mr Aquino told senators he asked Gen Albayalde why the policemen should not be suspended.

The senator said the decision of Albayalde to step down from his post doesn't mean that senators will no longer raise the issue about the "agaw-bato" scheme and about the existence of rogue cops.

Non-duty status is granted to retiring officers to give them time to comply with documentary requirements for their retirement, said Police Lieutenant General Archie Francisco Gamboa, PNP officer-in-charge and deputy chief for administration. Several months after, however, he was appointed as metropolitan Manila police chief and as national police chief in April previous year.

Gen. Oscar Albayalde's resignation is considered a major blow to President Rodrigo Duterte's crackdown that has resulted in nearly 7,000 alleged drug addicts and drug users being killed during the past three years, according to police figures.

They are Lt. Gen. Gamboa who is now the deputy chief for administration; Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan, the number three-man being the deputy chief for operations; and, Maj.

Human rights groups have accused police of executing thousands of drug suspects and staging crime scenes.

The Chief PNP has been at the center of the controversy in the past few weeks over allegations that he benefitted from the alleged recycling of more than 160 kilos of shabu of 13 of his men while he was still the provincial director of Pampanga in November 29, 2013.

"The next Philippine National Police chief will have to work doubly hard to regain the credibility of the police community and the government's drug war", Drilon said. Magalong claimed the officers involved in the raid were given desirable posts under Albayalde.

Albayalde's resignation comes as the Senate investigates the contentious raid in Mexico, Pampanga, led by then-Superintendent Rodney Baloyo.

They also purportedly released Lee after he paid them millions, and produced a different "suspect", Ding Wenkun.

Drilon said during the Senate hearings Albayalde failed to condemn his men in the face of overwhelming evidence, indicating "complicity to the criminal conduct of his men".

Gen Albayalde, a strict disciplinarian who had been in charge of Metro Manila, where the majority of the thousands of drug war killings have occurred, was appointed PNP chief a year ago.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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