Search is on for next PNP chief as Albayalde prepares for retirement

MANILA, Philippines – The search for the next Philippine National Police (PNP) begins as top cop General Oscar Albayalde prepares for retirement.

On Saturday, September 28, Albayalde holds his testimonial parade at the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City – a ceremony which honors the accomplishments of retiring alumni.

The event is set to be attended by top officials in the PNP and senior officials from the Philippine Military, where classmates of Albayalde from the PMA 1986 Sinagtala Class hold key positions.

The ceremony involves elaborate marches and speeches in honor of Albayalde  and an address by the outgoing police chief himself.

Albayalde hits the retirement age of 56 on November 8, around 5 weeks from his testimonial parade.

Usually, police chiefs hold their retirement parade one to two weeks before the big day. Former police chief and now Senator Ronald dela Rosa held his on the week of his retirement in April 2018.

Albayalde opted to hold his on September 28 because the date coincides with his class' walkout parade in 1983.

The search is on: With Albayalde set to retire, the search for his successor begins.

Even months before the Saturday program, observers have begun asking who would succeed him.

Albayalde and top officials have repeatedly mentioned 3 candidates:

The first two are known generals who have been assigned at least once to the Davao Region, the homebase of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Eleazar, meanwhile, holds the same ace as Albayalde did when he was in the running for PNP chief – he has been portrayed in media as being a disciplinarian, enough for the President to notice and acknowledge publicly.

Gamboa and Cascolan are classmates of Albayalde, but Eleazar is a known Albayalde comrade for their history of working together in the Metro Manila police district. Prior to clinching the top post, Albayalde was Metro Manila police chief, while Eleazar led the Quezon City Police District.

Albayalde, who had laughed off the possibility that the President could extend his term, has not publicly endorsed any of the contenders. –