Albayalde exits police force without retirement honors

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PGen Oscar Albayalde will get his full retirement benefits despite his pending criminal case, the PNP says (FILE PHOTO).

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 8) — Embattled PGen Oscar Albayalde chose not to be accorded retirement honors as he bowed out of the police force on Friday.

"Hindi na po nag-avail si Gen. Albayalde ng retirement honors (Gen. Albayalde no longer availed of retirement honors)," PBGen Bernard Banac, spokesperson of the Philippine National Police, said in a media briefing.

He said the ceremony is normally done during the change of command rites, which did not happen since Albayalde resigned as PNP chief on October 14 amid allegations on his involvement in a questionable drug raid as Pampanga provincial police director in 2013.

Albayalde has since been on "non-duty status"until he reached the mandatory retirement age of 56 on Friday.

Banac told CNN Philippines in a text message that Albayalde will get his full retirement benefits, including his pension, since no administrative case has been filed against him.

"The pending DOJ (Department of Justice) case against him has no effect on his retirement benefits," Banac said.

Albayalde is facing a slew of criminal charges filed by the PNP's Criminal Investigation and Detection Group. These include violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act and the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, qualified bribery, falsification of public documents, perjury, and dereliction of duty.

The Senate hearings on the Pampanga drug raid revealed Albayalde and his men's failure to account for 160 kilograms of shabu seized from the drug sting in Mexico town in November 2013. Thirteen of Alabayalde's subordinate policemen, now called “ninja cops,” supposedly got almost ₱1 billion from the irregular drug raid, including ₱50 million they extorted in exchange for the freedom of alleged drug trafficker Johnson Lee.

Senator Richard Gordon, who led the inquiry, admitted it is hard to prove that Albayalde profited from the raid, but he said the former top cop could face life imprisonment for the misappropriation of drugs and dereliction of duty.

He added that Albayalde is also liable for graft for “persuading” two Central Luzon police chiefs not to implement the dismissal order against his subordinate cops.

Albayalde has denied any involvement in the controversial raid, saying he let his subordinates do the job since he thought it was a "simple" anti-drug operation. He also belied claims he tried to intervene in the case. He said these were all part of a conspiracy to discredit him weeks before his retirement from the police service.

He earlier threatened to sue his accusers, asking veteran lawyer and and former Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza for legal assistance.