By Martin Sadongdong
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde announced on Wednesday that the 190,000-strong police force is united in its stand not to express support to embattled Senator Antonio Trillanes IV amid the revocation of his amnesty.
Albayalde issued the statement in a press briefing at Camp Crame amid President Duterte’s outbursts regarding the supposed faction in the military and police where some soldiers are allegedly expressing support for Trillanes, a former Navy officer.
“Wala. I have repeatedly said that zero sa amin ‘yan sa PNP. Wala tayong namo-monitor kahit na little support, in any way, dito kay Senator Trillanes (None. I have repeatedly said that he gets zero [support] from the PNP. We have not monitored even a little support, in any way, for Senator Trillanes),” Albayalde said.
In a televised meeting with Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo Tuesday afternoon, Duterte surprisingly turned to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and “encouraged” them to unseat him if they see him no longer fit to be the President of the Philippines.
“If the AFP thinks I am not competent, that I am not qualified to be sitting here, I discussed this with them in a command conference — bahala kayo (do whatever you want),” he said.
The President claimed that Trillanes “did not do anything” for the military but if they still want to take the senator’s side, he said they should join him and stage a mutiny or revolution.
“You are free to do that. As a matter of fact, I am encouraging you to do that para tapos na (to end things),” Duterte added. Trillanes recently showed the bills that he passed as a lawmaker for the military and the police to debunk Duterte’s repeated statements questioning his support to the state forces.
As for the PNP, Albayalde assured that there is no need to conduct a loyalty check within their ranks as they remain loyal to three things: the Constitution, the Filipino people, and the Duterte administration.
“Hindi na namin sila kailangan i-remind (We don’t need to remind them). We don’t even need to have a loyalty check in our ranks,” he said.
While the PNP, in nature, is mandated by its ethical doctrine to remain apolitical, non-partisan and professional, Albayalde has repeatedly said in the past that he sees nothing wrong in expressing support to the Duterte administration since they also are being backed by the President.
“We pledge support to the present administration. Wala naman tayong nakikitang masamang ginagawa, na labag sa konstitusyon. So bakit tayo kokontra? (We have not seen the administration doing something bad, they don’t violate the Constitution. So why should we oppose them?),” Albayalde said.
The AFP, for its part, earlier belied speculations that there are factions within the organization, adding that they remain united and loyal to the Constitution and to the Filipino people.