By Robert B. Roque, Jr.
When General Oscar Albayalde, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, stepped down from his post weeks ahead of his scheduled retirement, people were not surprised. They expected it but could only guess his real reason or reasons for leaving.
To a misbehaved government official, resignation could mean avoidance from dire consequences, cowardice in the face of adversity, or an expression of guilt.
To the upright, it could translate to a classic display of leadership, acceptance of command responsibility, or self-sacrifice to preserve the integrity of one’s organization.
Undeniably, Albayalde’s sudden decision to resign took place amid controversies connected with the Pampanga anti-narcotics operation where 13 of the PNP Chief’s men allegedly pilfered almost 200 kilos of drugs seized in the bust in 2013.
Albayalde said he would leave his fate to the President when it comes to the Pampanga drug bust.
Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said Albayalde has the right to file complaints against Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, a former director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, and retired Brigadier General Rudy Lacadin, a former director of the Police Regional Office 3.
These two officials accused the resigned PNP head of involvement.
Lacadin claimed that Albayalde told him that he received only a small portion of the controversial anti-drug operation.
Lacson warned Albayalde that filing a case could be a double-edged sword since the retired generals would not take things sitting down and would defend themselves vigorously.
Some people believe that Albayalde should explain and clarify things head-on and not make use of his retirement to avoid any confrontation. Others think that his resignation was a sacrifice that spared the image of PNP from being further tarnished.
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Albayalde said his resignation was meant to accommodate the schedule of President Duterte, who is set to fly to Thailand in November for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.
He would retain his rank pending his official retirement, which takes effect on November 8. Lieutenant-General Archie Gamboa replaced him in an acting capacity.
He sees himself on vacation and leading a quiet life together with his family and far from all the controversies.
For his family’s sake, I hope he’s right.
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