CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – “Like a good soldier, I shall follow orders.”
Thus said over the phone Senior Supt. Oscar Albayalde as he relinquished his post as provincial police director for Pampanga. Albayalde said he would file a leave of absence pending his assignment to another police post.
He has been temporarily assigned to the Regional Headquarters Service Group (RHSG) at Camp Olivas, according to police sources who declined to be named for lack of authority to speak on the matter. The relief of Albayalde, approved by Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta, Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3) director, came in the wake of the alleged irregularity in the conduct of illegal drugs operations on November 29, 2013 at Woodbridge Subd.
Inside the Lakeshore in Mexico town. Twelve policemen led by Supt. Rodney Raymund Louie Baloyo IV, former chief of the Pampanga Provincial Intelligence Branch, and Senior Insp. Joven de Guzman Jr., former Pampanga Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group were placed under preventive suspension and now faced a criminal case for the bungled operations.
“Command responsibility” was invoked in an earlier relief order where Albayalde was cited for his “failure to take corrective action at his level despite the chance given to him to do so.”
Designated as Albayalde’s replacement is Senior Supt. Manuel Gaerlan, deputy regional director foroOperations (DRDO), in concurrent capacity. Pertrasanta said he ordered Gaerlan to continue the programs of Albayalde especially in the anti-criminality aspects.
“For the meantime, Albayalde will be reporting to Camp Olivas and help us here,” said Petrasanta over the phone.
The turn-over ceremony, according to Camp Olivas sources was held behind closed doors and witnessed only by PRO3 Command Staff. “It was held privately in haste and with no fanfare.” Albayalde assumed the post of acting director of the Pampanga Provincial Police Office (PPO) on April 29 last year or days before the May 13 elections.
His short stint of 11 months is marked by by the arrest of wanted persons, intensified campaign against illegal drugs and motorcycle-riding-criminals (MRC). In a twist of irony, the major accomplishment in the anti-drug campaign in the Lakeshore raid proved to be the cause of his relief.