PNP chief Albayalde orders probe vs his Facebook bashers

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Oscar Albayalde knows he is no Ronald dela Rosa. So just when he was named as a candidate to be the next Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, it wasn't a surprise for him to hear cops complaining.

What angered the former Metro Manila top cop were policemen wearing the PNP's blue uniform in the day, but bashing him relentlessly on Facebook at night. 

Now that he's the PNP chief, he wants them investigated.

"Makikita mo ang attitude ng pulis natin, 'yun ang mga pasaway, kaya sabi ko sa DICTM, I want them to be identified and that they can be called to my office personally," Albayalde said in his first Camp Crame press conference on Monday, April 23.

Albayalde was referring to cop commenters he saw on Facebook page Buhay Lespu (translated from vernacular slang as Police Life). As the name of the group suggests, posts typically tackle the daily struggles of cops, be it about deadly operations or police commanders they despise.

As of posting time, the page has accumulated over 470,000 followers.

The office Albayalde ordered for the investigation is the Directorate for Information and Communications Technology Management, the police office specializing in information technology. According to Albayalde, those who are proven to have bad-mouthed him online will be facing insubordination charges.

Is this a violation of the freedom of expression? Albayalde does not think so.

The newly installed Director General stressed that they have proper channels to receive complaints such as their grievance committee. Known for his stern leadership, Albayalde will not stand disrespect for a superior.

"When you are in the uniformed service, remember that there are rules and regulations. There will be restrictions. You have to understand that. We are not like others that can just do whatever," he said in a mix of English and Filipino. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.