Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Albayalde’s Fate Known Before His Retirement

Albayalde’s Fate Known Before His Retirement

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Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año assured the result of the investigation on Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde will be out before his retirement on November 8.

Año said he has started to investigate Albayalde’s alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade, particularly on the so-called “ninja cops” controversy.

He said he would await the result of the Senate blue ribbon committee inquiry into the “ninja cops” before coming up with a recommendation.

“While waiting for the result of the Senate investigation, we are already reviewing the case as instructed by the President and this will be a thorough and fair review and was based on facts and including the reports of the past investigations conducted,” Año said in an interview during their arrival here from Moscow.

During his arrival speech, President Rodrigo R. Duterte, who went on a five-day official visit to Russia, said he fully entrusts the matter to Año and would not rely on presumptions.

“Give me a clear proof that he was there on the take or was involved in the trafficking of drugs. I could not just do it in a knee jerk. I have to follow procedural due process and allow him to answer. The right to be heard. It’s given to the criminals, to the kidnappers. It should be given to a general of the Philippine National Police,” Duterte said.

Asked about his trust and confidence in Albayalde, he replied, “Well, he is still there. Otherwise, I would have told him to just go out. Wala pa naman (So far, no). Just give me a proof kasi abogado ako eh (Just give me proof because I’m a lawyer).”

Duterte said the fate of Albayalde lies in Año’s hands and that he would approve or disapprove it with finality once it reaches his office.

“You know, there is a legal maxim which we have to follow. Guilt is personal. That is why you have to hear before you condemn. It cannot be transferred from the lowest to the highest ranking or the highest ranking to the lowest unless there is a conspiracy which then the rule applicable is the act of one is the act of all,” he added.

Albayalde’s name surfaced after Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, a former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief, accused him of allegedly intervening to stop the dismissal of his former men at the Pampanga Police Office involved in a drug bust in Mexico, Pampanga in 2013.

Albayalde, was the Pampanga provincial director in 2013.

Based on the investigation of CIDG then, the drug bust led to the confiscation of 200 kilograms of shabu, but members of the raiding team only reported 38 kilos. (PNA)

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