BARELY a month before the retirement of Chief PNP Oscar Albayalde this November 8– if he can last that long— everybody was greeted on Thursday with the news of a “minor” reshuffle of the top command of the Philippine National Police.
Henceforth, P/MGen. Guillermo Eleazar, the media and the public’s most admired NCRPO director, would assume his new post as ‘Chief, Directorial Staff’ of the PNP, the 4th ‘most powerful position’ in our national police organization.
On the other hand, two of Albayalde’s “mistah” at the now tainted PMA ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986, P/Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan and P/Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, would assume their new post as the third (operations) and second (administration) most powerful positions respectively, in the PNP.
Meanwhile, erstwhile Central Visayas (PRO-7) chief, P/BGen. Debold Sinas, is to replace Eleazar at the NCRPO.
All these changes was due to the retirement of erstwhile PNP DDA Fernando Mendez, whose post is to be assumed by Gamboa.
On the surface of course, these changes are just “routine” for the PNP with the retirement of Mendez.
For beneath this layer of “normality,” dear readers, lies the more important issue of “jockeying” for position on who would eventually replace Albayalde.
But for the moment, dear readers, we can concentrate our attention to only Eleazar, Gamboa and Cascolan as among the leading names in the “short list” being considered by PDU30.
The proverbial “ball,” so to speak, is now therefore in the hands of PDU30, whose choice would either bode “good” or “bad” for the PNP, which has just seen its rising credibility fast sinking again with the damning statements being issued against Albayalde by his erstwhile “seniors” at the PNP over the 13 “Ninja Cops” in Pampanga who were all his men while serving as Pampanga police director in 2013.
Of course, it also goes without saying that other than his family and other “friends” whose “advise” he valued, PDU30’s choice would be also largely influenced by our good friend, DILG secretary, Eduardo Año.
On the earlier point, Eleazar would be at a great disadvantage because just like Albayalde, he is never a member of the so-called ‘Davao Group,’ of which Gamboa and Cascolan are known to belong, aside from being mistah to now Sen. Bato dela Rosa whose “endorsement” of Albayalde proved pivotal in his choice by PDU30.
In other words, these two gentlemen, by virtue of their having an “MBA” (may backer ako— thru dela Rosa and the fellows at the Davao Group), now appear to be in the front position to succeed Albayalde despite the taint in their PMA class brought about by the latter’s involvement with the Ninja Cops scandal.
Just like Albayalde too, whose performance as NCRPO director “saved” the PNP from the many scandals that hounded the leadership of dela Rosa as Chief PNP (especially over the issue of EJKs), Eleazar has nothing to show in terms of political connection— but his exemplary leadership of the NCRPO, an exemplary leadership that is now also saving the PNP image from further disgrace thru the scandals now hounding Albayalde.
Aber, mga kabayan, kung pati kaya si Eleazar ay “nagkakalat” ngayon sa PNP, sa tingin ninyo ba, may maniniwala at magtitiwala pa ngayon sa ating pambansang pulisya dahil sa eskandalong nakakabit ngayon kay Albayalde?
But then, it is a reality in our society, or any society for that matter, that when it comes to sensitive appointments, it is not “what you know” or what your “potential” and actual accomplishments are, but rather, it is “whom you know” that matters.
Indeed, the repeated plea by some quarters to stop “politicising” the PNP or the AFP when it comes to appointment is utter nonsense: the ugly fact of the matter is that “political consideration” is the common denominator in such appointments.
Indeed too, the higher any officer climbs the chain of command, the more political his appointment becomes thru that all-encompassing phrase, “trust and confidence” by the appointing authority.
And so, as the nation now awaits what PDU30’s final choice would be, the bigger burden, we are sure, now also rests with DILG secretary Año, who, just like the Chief Executive, must have been greatly “saddened” and surprised over the turn of events at the PNP.
For innocent or not, it has become clear that Sen. Bato got “burned” in his endorsing Albayalde at the time, a decision of course, that looked “correct” up until the time this issue of the Ninja Cops resurfaced.
Thus, in recommending the replacement for Albayalde, I am sure that Sec. Ed would also not want to be placed in the same predicament later on.
But then, if public opinion, which needs to be reassured at this point, is to be part of the consideration as to who the successor of Albayalde would be, there should be only one name there— GUILLERMO T. ELEAZAR.
Ano masasabi ninyo, “mga kapatid sa hanapbuhay?”