A Few Things I Learned About the Chief PNP


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By Eggay Quesada

    The Chief PNP on his Vespa GTS 300

 

On Fridays, I usually go home as early as 4pm to avoid the weekend traffic and just stay at home. This, I’ve been doing since age caught up with me–unless, of course when my job dictates. But last Friday was an exception for this middle-aged writer and rider. While at home playing my favorite online game Tongits Wars, I got a call from a friend at around 6pm inviting me to a scooter round-up and dinner with the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Director General Oscar Albayalde and company. I had this opportunity twice already, but I begged off due to prior commitments. And so I thought this would be the perfect time.

Off I went to a gas station located along the West Service Road in Parañaque, met my friend and immediately proceeded to Burgos Circle in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

While riding to our destination, I was thinking that parking should not be a problem. Even at 7:30 pm on a Friday. I had this image, Vespas parked on the side of the street with probably a bunch of police cars parked, too. After all, it’s their chief and some other high-ranking PNP officials’ scooters they’re guarding. That was the picture I had in mind.

To my surprise, when we were approaching the establishment, there were no patrol cars whatsoever. We saw a bunch of Vespas parked properly infront of the restaurant we were going to. And this was no special parking accorded to a government official. The Vespas were parked in between parallel-parked cars of plain citizens enjoying their weekend probably. No supercars either. Both sides of the street were filled mostly with ordinary Japanese cars. The only luxury vehicle I saw was a current model Toyota Land Cruiser parked across our scooters.

As we headed to the dinner venue, we saw Gen. Albayalde and his group seated nicely and neatly at the al fresco section of the restaurant. They were all in civilian clothes. No men in police attire and no bodyguards around the table. Just two barong-clad security detail standing beside our scooters which were some meters away, and unnoticeable. In his table were his colleagues enjoying tapsilog and cold lemonade. He warmly greeted us and offered us to eat. And the bike chat began. So here are some things I found out about the chief of the Philippine National Police:

1. The General started riding motorcycles in 2011 and was immediately hooked.

2. His preferred scooter is a Vespa GTS 300. He has one in black.

3. He also has a big bike, which is the Honda CB1300, which he takes out with his commanding general, Mrs. Albayalde, as back rider.

4. The Chief PNP seems to be a very ordinary person. He looked very comfortable in civilian clothes.

5. He does not demand for any special treatment.

6. When riding his Vespa, he prefers to wear his black Tucano Urbano Italian leather jacket paired with his Bell Bullitt retro helmet.

7. He makes it a point to ride all his bikes when time permits. On certain days, he rides when doing the rounds within the metro.

8. The General is safety-conscious and relies only on tried and tested brands when buying his riding gear.

At half past midnight, I and my buddy left BGC with the PNP’s No. 1 man. His convoy of about seven scooters left with no frills, no blaring sirens, and no motorcycle-weaving escorts. My seatmate, a fellow biker and newly-appointed Southern Police District (SPD) chief Col. Eliseo Cruz, the only one who arrived in uniform after dinner on his Triumph Tiger 1050 must be talking based on experience when he told me that Gen. Oca Albayalde is one of the most decent, proper, and hardworking bosses to head the country’s police force.

The author with PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde

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Eggay Quesada

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