Albayalde retires with no traditional honors, but benefits intact
MANILA, Philippines – Quietly, General Oscar Albayalde ended his 37-year career in the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday, November 8, trading the traditional full-dress parade and review for a prayer service.
The former PNP chief, who went on "non-duty status" starting October 14, offered an early morning thanksgiving Mass at the PNP Multi-Faith Chapel at Camp Crame in Quezon City with only family, close friends, and colleagues, according to PNP Spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac.
Albayalde relinquished his post and waited out the remaining days of his career until his mandatory retirement upon turning 56, following the "ninja cops" controversy in which he was accused of either negligence or complicity.
In November 2013, 13 cops under Albayalde as Pampanga police chief pilfered a significant portion of a stash of crystal meth they recovered in a raid, took a bribe from the suspect, and instead arrested a fall guy.
About 3 years later, in 2016, Albayalde called up the police official on top of the 13 cops' cases and allegedly asked him to hold off their impending dismissal. That officer, now Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director-General Aaron Aquino, revealed the incident to a Senate panel on October 1.
The ensuing maelstrom eventually forced Albayalde to step down even though he insists he is innocent, and the accusations against him, politically motivated. (READ: From tough cop to 'coddler': Oscar Albayalde's fall from grace)
Albayalde faces a criminal complaint filed by the PNP itself over the "ninja cops" incident. However, no administrative case was filed against him. Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said on Monday, November 4, that he found no hard evidence to do so.
The only administrative case that could have been filed against Albayalde was to seek his removal as PNP chief out of command responsibility, but he had already stepped down on his own.
Because Albayalde did not technically resign from the police service but merely "relinquished" his post, he will enjoy the full retirement benefits of a 4-star general, amounting to millions of pesos.
Albayalde is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1986, and was the 22nd PNP chief. President Rodrigo Duterte had appointed him even though he was not part of Duterte's inner circle, the so-called "Davao Group," because of his loyalty and reputation for strictness.
Albayalde's classmate, Lieutenant General Archie Gamboa, is acting PNP chief in his place. Duterte has yet to name Albayalde's successor. – Rappler.com