I have mixed feelings about the way P/Gen. Oscar Albayalde, now ex-Chief PNP, has abruptly ended his police service more than three weeks before his compulsory retirement. His statements prior to his formal announcement today to relinquish command of the 190,000-strong police force have somehow diminished the redeeming value of his intent to spare the PNP from the so-called ‘ninja cops’ controversies.
Being a PMA graduate myself, I feel sad whenever fellow Peemayers slug it out publicly over issues that hit the very core of the unique and exclusive cadet honor system which has nurtured us for four arduous years to prepare ourselves to resist the moral challenges and temptations once we step out of the Academy.
The Code simply says: ‘A cadet does not lie, cheat or steal nor tolerate those who do.’ While many choose to adhere to the Code albeit not in the same rigid, exacting manner, still, quite a number have opted to fall out of the ‘long grey line’ sooner or later in their career. Worse, they have disregarded the Code as if they never learned and practiced it in the first place. Or, maybe they never did; they just simply got away and graduated.
I do not mean to cast judgment on Gen. Albayalde’s character with the preceding statement. Rather, it is only to reiterate the sad reality that many PMA graduates have been eaten by the corrupt and corrupting system of law enforcement.
Having said that, Mayor Benjamin Magalong and retired Gen. Manuel Gaerlan and the others who testified in our committee hearings to spill the beans on Baloyo et al which led to Gen. Albayalde’s possible complicity after the fact deserve all the salute and commendations from our fellow cavaliers and the Filipino people for doing their part not to ‘tolerate those among us Peemayers who violated the honor code.’ The old phrase – ‘the long arm of the law’ – has its way of catching up with criminal offenders. Let that be a reminder to the likes of Baloyo and his cohorts.