PRESIDENT Duterte announced he has accepted the resignation of Justice Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II, and that National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Oscar D. Albayalde will be the next to head the 170,000-strong Philippine National Police (PNP).
“I accepted the resignation of Vit Aguirre, my fraternity brother, as secretary of justice. I am now…looking for [his] replacement,” Duterte remarked in his speech at Gawad Saka 2017 and Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan 2017 at the Rizal Hall in Malacañan Palace.
But the President did not elaborate on the circumstances behind Aguirrre’s resignation, which came after the DOJ dropped charges against alleged drug lord Peter Lim and self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, and a string of other controversial cases.
A few hours after Duterte’s speech, Presidential Spokesman Harry L. Roque Jr. announced that Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra is the new DOJ secretary, and the appointment of Western Mindanao Command Chief Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 85, as incoming chief of staff of the Armed Forces to replace Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero.
Duterte also named Albayalde, a member of Philippine Military Academy Class of 1986, as the next PNP chief, replacing Director Ronald M. dela Rosa, who was originally set to retire on January 21 since he already reached the mandatory retirement of age of 56. The President, however, extended his term indefinitely.
Joel R. San Juan and Bernadette D. Nicolas
Image credits: CNN Philippines