Amid ‘ninja cops’ issue, Albayalde steps down as PNP chief

Rambo Talabong
(UPDATED) This comes after weeks of allegations that he was complicit with 'ninja cops' in a 2013 Pampanga anti-drug operation

STEPPING DOWN. Oscar Albayalde atthe PNP Change of Command Ceremony on April 19,2018. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Amid a damaging controversy, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde stepped down as police chief on Monday, October 14.

He announced this in an early morning address to cops in Camp Crame.

“After careful deliberation, I have come to the decision to relinquish my post as Chief, PNP, effective today,” he said in a press statement.

Why resign? His resignation comes after back-to-back Senate hearings where former generals have implicated him as negligent, if not complicit, in a controversial 2013 Pampanga anti-drug operation. (READ: ‘Spectacle of a grand cover-up’: Senate hearing bares how ‘ninja cops’ remain in service)

According to the investigation of the PNP itself, Pampanga cops in the November 2013 operation hid over a hundred kilograms of shabu (methamphetamine), accepted a bribe from the drug suspect, and arrested a fall guy so the real suspect could escape. All this happened under Albayalde’s supervision as then Pampanga police chief.

Leading the charge in the accusations is Baguio City Mayor and former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief Benjamin Magalong. (READ: Death threats? Albayalde says Magalong can request escorts from PNP)

Albayalde asserts innocence: In his statement, Albayalde reiterated his denial of the accusations, and slammed them for being motivated by “publicity.”

He stressed that he had also been punished by being put on floating status, and that he did not face an administrative case. The criminal complaint, meanwhile, did include him as a respondent. The criminal case is now under review of the Department of Justice. (READ: 5 challenges for new PNP chief Oscar Albayalde)

“I thank President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for his trust and confidence and for giving me the opportunity to lead the Philippine National Police and serve the Filipino people in my one year and six months as Chief, PNP. I have served my country well,” Albayalde said. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.