The Philippine Star

Al­bay­alde goes on ‘non-duty’ leave

- By EM­MANUEL TUPAS and CECILLE SUERTE FELIPE Crime · Retirement · Employment · Society · Eduardo Año · ASEAN · Thailand · Richard Gordon · Baguio · White House

Em­bat­tled Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice (PNP) chief Gen. Os­car Al­bay­alde has opted to go on “non-duty sta­tus” ef­fec­tive to­day, two weeks be­fore he for­mally turns over lead­er­ship of the 190,000-strong po­lice force.

“He wants to spare the or­ga­ni­za­tion from ev­ery­thing that is hap­pen­ing right now,” In­te­rior and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Sec­re­tary Ed­uardo Año said in a phone in­ter­view.

PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said go­ing on “non-duty sta­tus” was akin to a ter­mi­nal leave.

While Al­bay­alde will reach the manda­tory po­lice re­tire­ment age of 56 on Nov. 8, he is sup­posed to for­mally turn over com­mand to his suc­ces­sor on Oct. 29 at Camp Crame be­cause Pres­i­dent Duterte would be leav­ing for the lead­ers’ sum­mit of the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions in Thai­land from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4, ac­cord­ing to Sen. Christo­pher Go.

Al­bay­alde is cur­rently em­broiled in a con­tro­versy over his al­leged cod­dling of “ninja cops” or po­lice of­fi­cers re­cy­cling il­le­gal drugs when he was Pam­panga pro­vin­cial po­lice di­rec­tor, an al­le­ga­tion which he has ve­he­mently de­nied.

Sen. Richard Gor­don, who chairs the Se­nate Blue Rib­bon com­mit­tee, said over the week­end that there is suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to pin down Al­bay­alde and re­tire­ment would not spare the PNP chief.

A po­lice per­son­nel on non­duty sta­tus means he or she is still a mem­ber of the po­lice or­ga­ni­za­tion but will no longer work and will just wait for re­tire­ment.

Baguio City Mayor Ben­cling jamin Ma­ga­long and re­tired po­lice gen­eral Rudy La­cadin had told the Blue Rib­bon that Al­bay­alde lob­bied against the dis­missal of the ninja cops and did not take any ac­tion against his men in­volved in the re­cy­with of il­le­gal drugs seized from po­lice op­er­a­tions.

Al­bay­alde main­tained that he did noth­ing wrong and no for­mal charge was filed against him.

Sources told that the de­ci­sion for Al­bay­alde to go on non-duty sta­tus was an­nounced dur­ing his meet­ing some rank­ing po­lice of­fi­cials at the White House, the of­fi­cial res­i­dence of the PNP chief ats Camp Crame.

Any po­lice of­fi­cer can opt for non-duty sta­tus as early as three months be­fore his manda­tory re­tire­ment age of 56. The non-duty sta­tus is an op­tion to al­low the po­lice of­fi­cer to pre­pare doc­u­ments for his re­tire­ment.

While on non-duty sta­tus, Al­bay­alde will still hold his four-star rank. Thus, even if Duterte ap­points a new PNP chief, he can­not get the high­est rank in the po­lice or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Año said it is up to Duterte to ac­cept or re­ject Al­bay­alde’s de­ci­sion.

Deputy chief for ad­min­is­tra­tion Lt. Gen. Archie Fran­cisco Gam­boa, the PNP’s sec­ondin-com­mand, will han­dle the af­fairs of the po­lice in an act­ing ca­pac­ity un­til Duterte chooses Al­bay­alde’s suc­ces­sor.

 ?? MIGUEL DE GUZ­MAN ?? Thou­sands of devo­tees take part in the an­nual pro­ces­sion of Our Lady of La Naval de Manila in the vicin­ity of Sto. Domingo Church in Que­zon City yes­ter­day.
MIGUEL DE GUZ­MAN Thou­sands of devo­tees take part in the an­nual pro­ces­sion of Our Lady of La Naval de Manila in the vicin­ity of Sto. Domingo Church in Que­zon City yes­ter­day.
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