New PNP Chief Albayalde to focus on discipline, internal cleansing of police force

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 19) — Newly-installed Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Dir. Gen. Oscar Albayalde vowed to focus on the discipline of the police force under his watch.

"We will focus on imposing strict discipline, reform, and internal cleansing, intensified campaign against criminality and illegal drugs, practical programs for crime prevention and suppression, and strengthen public engagement," Albayalde said during the change of command ceremony of the PNP at the Camp Crame on Thursday.

"Today, as I humbly accept this new responsibility to lead the PNP, I shall commit to continue my low-key but stern kind of leadership," he added.

Albayalde, who was the former chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), wanted to scale up the thrust of his former office to a national level.

He said the Special Action Force training will become the basic training for new police recruits.

Provincial and Regional Directors of the PNP were also tasked to carry-out surprise inspections to keep policemen on their toes at all times.

In the past year, the PNP was hounded by various issues, including alleged human rights violations during operations, and the death of Korean businessmen Jee Ick-joo in the hands of police officers.

War on drugs to continue

The new PNP chief also said he will continue the programs started by his predecessor, Dir. Gen. Ronald Dela Rosa, including the Oplan Double Barrel. President Rodrigo Duterte revealed Dela Rosa will be the new chief of the Bureau of Corrections.

"To my mistah...thank you for trusting me to continue what you have started. I may not be able to fill your big shoes, but I can assure you that I will do my best to carry on your advocacies...Continuity is important to maintain the momentum of our accomplishments and gains," Albayalde said.

Oplan Double Barrel is the PNP's primary program on President Rodrigo Duterte's war against drugs.

Dela Rosa said from July 1, 2016 to March 21, 2018, Oplan Double Barrel has led to the arrest of 130,271 drug offenders and the death of 4,128 suspects. The police has also visited over 8.8 million houses, and over 1.2 million drug personalities have surrendered.

However, the operations resulted in the death of 131 police officers, while 346 were wounded in action.

Albayalde also said he will recognize and reward deserving policemen, and assist those who are facing legal cases over duty-related issues.