MANILA

Albayalde seeks legal advice amid drug recycling allegations

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PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief Oscar Albayalde has sought legal advice for possible filing of charges against several former police officials who accused him of benefiting from a controversial anti-illegal drugs operations in Pampanga in 2013.

Albayalde said he met with his fellow cabalen, former solicitor general and Justice secretary Estelito Mendoza, to seek legal advice.

"We paid him a visit so he is so much willing to give legal advice 'yung kanyang team and him as a leader dito sa posibleng legal case na pwede i-file dito sa mga nag-aakusa sa akin ng kung anu-anong kasinungalingan ang pinagsasasabi sa Senate hearing," he said.

"These people have to be made responsible for their actions. They should know better kesa doon sa mga paggawa ng false accusation sa mga tao na alam naman nila ay pawang kasinungalingan. Somebody here is lying sabi nga and it's definitely not me. All my statements are covered with documents, hindi insinuations, and it's not my word against his word," he added.

Albayalde's accusers are former PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) director and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, his then deputy Rudy Lacadin, and former Central Luzon regional police director and now Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director Aaron Aquino.

Albayalde was the Pampanga police director when the operation was conducted in November 2013 by 13 anti-illegal drugs policemen in Lakeshore view in the said province.

The operation was later found to be irregular based on the investigation conducted by Magalong and Lacadin.

The 13 alleged ninja cops, or officers who recycle or sell illegal drugs that were seized during their operations, reported having confiscated only 36 kilograms but witnesses claimed there were more than 200 kilograms of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu).

The 13 cops also allegedly presented a fall guy after the arrested drug lord paid P50 million for his freedom.

Instead of being dismissed from the service, the 13 cops were merely demoted.

Lacadin, who claimed to be a friend and business partner of Albayalde, said he latter called him up while the investigation was being conducted.

“Sabi niya, I don’t know if jokingly, but he said, ‘Actually Sir kaunti lang naman ang napunta sa akin diyan’,” said Lacadin.

Aquino, on the other hand, said sometime mid-2016, when he was the Central Luzon police director, Albayalde called him up and asked him not to implement the order against “his men.”

Magalong and Brigadier General Graciano Mijares of Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit (PHAU) said aside from ordering the review which resulted in the recommendation of demotion of the said cops, he did nothing about the case.

Mijares said Aquino ordered the return of the case in the legal department for another review.

Magalong revealed that Mijares told him that Aquino was puzzled about how to implement the order.

"An underclass who is a member of the staff of General Aquino when he was RD (Regional Director) told me na alam ko ang nangyari kasi andun ako sa office ni RD (Aquino). Namomoroblema si RD sino ang susundin, kung si General Magalong who is about to retire, o ‘yung part of ruling class na contender sa pagiging Chief PNP,” Magalong said.

Despite all these statements against Albayalde, no solid proof has been provided to prove Albayalde’s direct involvement in the incident. (SunStar Philippines)


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