MANILA - A classmate or "mistah" of General Oscar Albayalde at the Philippine Military Academy on Monday assumed the position of Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge (OIC) after the top cop stepped down from his post ahead of his mandatory retirement.
Police Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, who served as commander of the PNP National Security Task Force for the 2019 midterm elections, belongs to the PMA Sinagtala Class of 1986, along with Albayalde and PNP Deputy Chief for Operations Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan.
Gamboa and Cascolan are among the front runners for the top PNP post.
"As OIC, I take the responsibility to manage all activities of the PNP command group, ably assisted by 10 directorial staff. With this responsibility, I assure the continuous implementation of all ongoing campaign plans, on internal security, anti-criminality, anti-illegal drugs and anti-corruption in line with the national priorities and direction of President Rodrigo Duterte," Gamboa told reporters in Camp Crame.
Albayalde said he was going on non-duty status starting Monday. He said last week that he was leaving his post on Oct. 29. He will retire on Nov. 8, when he turns 56.
Albayalde was head of the Pampanga police when 13 of its officers were accused of pilfering some 160 kilos of shabu from a suspected Chinese drug lord in 2013.
Former police official Benjamin Magalong, in a recent Senate hearing, claimed Albayalde sought to defer the dismissal order against his former subordinates, which he denied.