Duterte still undecided over next PNP chief
MANILA, Philippines – Weeks after embattled General Oscar Albayalde quit as the top cop of the Philippine National Police (PNP) over a drug-related scandal, President Rodrigo Duterte remains undecided about who should be his third PNP chief.
"Wala pang sinasabi si Presidente (The President hasn't said anything)," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a radio interview on DZIQ on Sunday, November 10.
Long wait: It has been nearly a month since Albayalde quit as PNP chief last October 14, over allegations that he coddled so-called "ninja cops" he had worked with when he was Pampanga police chief in 2013.
Albayalde quietly retired on Friday, November 8, as he traded the traditional full-dress parade and review for a prayer service. (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.
Meanwhile, 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.
What's taking so long? Panelo brushed off the long wait before Duterte announced who would be his next PNP chief, saying the President needed to think long and hard over who he will appoint to be his the country's next top cop.
"Eh, ano naman kung matagalan? Ganoon talaga. Ang isang Pangulo dapat bago mag appoint pinag-iisipang maigi," Panelo said.
(So what if it's taking long? That's how it is. The President should think hard before he appoints someone.)
The PNP is currently led only by an officer in charge, Lieutenant General Archie Francisco Gamboa, who has reshuffled the police force.
Año earlier recommended the PNP's top 3 officials as possible successors: Gamboa; Lieutenant General Camilo Cascolan; and Major General Guillermo Eleazar. The first two belong to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1986, while Eleazar belongs to the 1987 class. (READ: Careers up close: The 3 contenders for Duterte’s 3rd PNP chief)
Duterte was also considering officers outside Año's recommendations.
Aside from the 3, the officers eligible to be Albayalde's successor as they hold regional commands include former Davao cops who know Duterte personally: Calabarzon police chief Brigadier General Vicente Danao Jr and newly assigned Davao Region police chief Brigadier General Filmore Escobal. Both 1991 graduates of the PMA, they are at least 4 years younger than Año's recommended generals. – Rappler.com