New PNP chief Albayalde: ‘How I wish I could be like Dela Rosa’

Rambo Talabong

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New PNP chief Albayalde: ‘How I wish I could be like Dela Rosa’
'Nakita mo kung gaano siya kalapit sa mga tao. How I wish I could also be like that,' Albayalde says in his first press conference

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde couldn’t help but pay tribute to his retired police chief classmate Ronald dela Rosa.

In his first press conference as PNP chief, a reporter asked him what “legacy policy” he would leave with the police force, much like Oplan Tokhang is to Dela Rosa.

He responded that he would only continue Oplan Tokhang, adding that perhaps equally important to the anti-drugs campaign is Dela Rosa’s feat of being able to bring the PNP down to the people. He wants to do the same.

I think he’s very much appreciated ng mga tao. ‘Yun ang napakahirap na sundin sa kanya kasi that’s what I’m afraid of. Nakita mo kung gaano siya kalapit sa mga tao. How I wish I could also be like that, kung gaano siya naging kalapit sa mga tao,” Albayalde said. 

(I think he’s very much appreciated by the people. That’s what’s very hard to follow from his term, that’s what I’m afraid of. You saw how close he was to people. How I wish I could also be like that, how close he was with the people.)

Heaping more praises, Albayalde added that Dela Rosa’s down-to-earth and emotional approach left a mark in the PNP’s history. 

“This is one aspect in his run as Chief PNP that the PNP has never seen in a Chief PNP: the closeness to the people and his humility. I think you will agree with me on that,” a sentimental Albayalde said in a mix of English and Filipino.

The new PNP chief is seen as a stark contrast to his predecessor. (READ: New PNP chief Albayalde vows to continue ‘low-key but stern’ leadership)

Compared to a usually impassioned Dela Rosa, Albayalde usually comes off as stoic and reserved.

Dela Rosa was the popular “mascot” of the Philippine Military Academy Sinagtala Class of 1986. Albayalde was one of the batch’s silent honor students, graduating top 7 in their class.

While President Rodrigo Duterte’s long-forged trust earned Dela Rosa his ticket to the police top post, Albayalde clinched the highest police promotion through his self-built reputation. –

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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.