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Lacson says he has mixed feelings on Albayalde’s resignation

Senator Panfilo Lacson, a former Philippine National Police chief himself, said Monday he has mixed feelings on the resignation of PNP chief Police General Oscar Albayalde.

“I have mixed feelings about the way P/Gen. Oscar Albayalde, now ex-chief PNP, has abruptly ended his police service more than three weeks before his compulsory retirement,” Lacson said in a press statement.

He said Albayalde’s statements prior to his formal announcement to relinquish command of the 190,000-strong police force have somehow diminished the redeeming value of his intent to spare the PNP from the so-called ‘ninja cops’ controversies.

Lacson said being a PMA (Philippine Military Academy)  graduate himself, he feels sad whenever “fellow Peemayers slug it out publicly over issues that hit the very core of the unique and exclusive cadet honor system which has nurtured us for four arduous years to prepare ourselves to resist the moral challenges and temptations once we step out of the Academy.”

He said the PMA Code simply says: ‘A cadet does not lie, cheat or steal nor tolerate those who do.’

“While many choose to adhere to the Code albeit not in the same rigid, exacting manner, still, quite a number have opted to fall out of the ‘long grey line’ sooner or later in their career. Worse, they have disregarded the Code as if they never learned and practiced it in the first place. Or, maybe they never did; they just simply got away and graduated,” he said.

The senator said he does not mean to cast judgment on Albayalde’s character, rather, it is only to reiterate the sad reality that many PMA graduates have been eaten by the corrupt and corrupting system of law enforcement.

Lacson, on the other hand, lauded Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, retired Gen. Manuel Gaerlan, and others who testified in the committee hearings to spill the beans on Police Major Rodney Baloyo IV which led to  Albayalde’s possible complicity after the fact

“They deserve all the salute and commendations from our fellow cavaliers and the Filipino people for doing their part not to ‘tolerate those among us Peemayers who violated the honor code.’  The old phrase – ‘the long arm of the law’ – has its way of catching up with criminal offenders. Let that be a reminder to the likes of Baloyo and his cohorts,” he said.

Meanwhile, Senate President Vicente Sotto refused to comment on the matter.

“Kapag may sugat ang ibang tao, ayoko nang lagyan ng asin. I'd rather just wait for events to unfold,” he said in a message to reporters.

Earlier in the day, Albayalde relinquished his post following the ninja cops controversy.

"After careful thought and deliberation, I have come to the decision to relinquish my post as Chief, PNP effective today and go on a non-duty status. I have submitted my letter of intent to [Interior] Secretary [Eduardo] Año which he accepted and favorably endorsed to the President," Albayalde said in a speech after the flag ceremony at the Camp Crame. — Amita Legaspi/RSJ, GMA News