Albayalde slams quit call

Oscar D. Albayalde

PHILIPPINE National Police chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde yesterday fired back at members of the left-leaning Makabayan opposition bloc which has called for his resignation in the aftermath of the killing of 14 suspected New People’s Army members and sympathizers in three separate police raids in Negros Oriental last Saturday.

“Now the Filipino people know who are the people in power supporting the leftist movement whose aim is to overthrow a constitutionally elected government. We should also send a strong statement to the Filipinos against these people supporting the perceived Enemies of the State to gain power themselves! They are the people who are willing to sacrifice even the lives of young students in their own propaganda against our country and government,” the PNP chief said.

“I attest that there is no basis to call for action against our part in the light of the death of 14 suspects during a recent series of police operations in Negros Oriental as I swiftly ordered the administrative relief of the Provincial Director of Negros PPO and three Chiefs of Police in the province to pave the way for the thorough investigation on the incidents,”  he added.

The PNP chief assured the public that “this corresponding investigation by the PNP Internal Affairs Service is deemed in the ambit of fairness, truth, and justice whatever results may divulge.”

“I reiterated that an impartial investigation is on-going to determine if there were lapses in this series of police operations launched by our local police units accorded to the Revised Police Operations Procedures.

Members of the Makabayan bloc led by Anakpawis party-list Representative Ariel Casilao and Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas called for the head of the PNP chief saying he should be held liable for the killings in Canlaon City and the municipalities of Manjuyod and Sta. Catalina.

However, Gen. Albayalde hit back at those calling for his resignation.  “Lahat naman pinagre-resign ng mga yan. Let me express this that in the name of delicadeza, which is obviously not in their moral virtues, they should be the ones who have long since resigned while enjoying the perks and privileges shouldered by the Filipino people,” the PNP chief said.

Gen. Albayalde had maintained that last Saturday’s series of raids in Negros Oriental were legitimate police operations which left 14 suspects dead in gunbattles.

“They can call it massacre or whatever they want to call it but we call this a legitimate police operation,” he said. He also defended the officers who killed the suspects saying that “in the face of an enemy firing at you, you have to defend yourself.” He said that those who are hitting the concerned policemen really have no experience on the battlefield and doesn’t know what it feels when confronted with a life-and-death situation.

The PNP chief ordered the administrative relief of erstwhile Negros Oriental police director Colonel Raul Tacaca and three others and gave Police Regional Office 7 director Brigadier General Debold M. Sinas the authority to choose the right persons to replace the four.

Also relieved were Canlaon City police chief Lt. Col. Patricio Degay, Captain Michael Rubia, the chief of the Sta. Catalina police, and Lt. Kelvin Roy Mamaradlo, the chief of the Manjuyod police station.

“I would like to emphasize that their relief is not a punitive measure for alleged actions or inactions rather it is an administrative relief to ensure that they will not be able to exert any influence in the ongoing investigation by the Internal Affairs Service and the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management,” Gen. Albayalde said.

Gen. Albayalde said that the purpose of the fact-finding investigation is to determine whether there were any lapses in the series of police operations carried out by the local police units involved and whether or not the rules prescribed in the Revised Police Operations Procedures were properly observed.