Albayalde hits back at PNP critics

Published August 22, 2018, 6:19 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Martin Sadongdong

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde issued Wednesday a strong statement against critics of the anti-illegal drug campaign, particularly of the oft-repeated accusation that suspects usually end up dead after fighting back.

Albayalde, in a press briefing at Camp Crame, said he no longer wanted to argue with “close-minded” persons after he was asked for a comment on former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s statement that the police’s “nanlaban (fought)” reasoning was highly doubtful.

PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde (Kevin Tristan Espiritu / MANILA BULLETIN)
PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde (Kevin Tristan Espiritu / MANILA BULLETIN)

“‘Yung iba kasi sa atin (Some of us), they want to believe what they only want to believe. ‘Yun lang ang ano doon (That’s the only [explanation] to that),” he said.

“Now we cannot change the minds of these people so let it be kung anong gusto nilang paniwalaan (of that’s what they believe) then we cannot argue on that. Kasi it’s useless to argue sa usapan na sarado ang pag-iisip (to discussions with close-minded [persons]),” he added.

On the commemoration of the 35th death anniversary of his father, the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., the former president expressed doubt on the PNP’s “nanlaban” reasoning, asking how could a suspect possibly fight back if they were already handcuffed, assuming that the cops were following the standard operating procedures (SOP).

“If the SOP is being followed, the suspect’s hands are to be handcuffed behind them, it would be hard for them to reach for the firearm of the police,” Aquino said.

However, Albayalde was quick to clarify that his explanation was not specifically directed at Aquino.

“Hindi lang naman siya ang nagsabi niyan (He is not the only one who said that.) At least a few noisy people have already said that,” he said.

The PNP’s top cop also disputed Aquino’s claims that there were no cops being scolded for alleged violation of human rights.

“I don’t think that’s true na walang nase-sermonan. In fact, during the first month of the war on drugs under President Duterte, there are already policemen who were jailed and are now facing murder charges. Take for example the case in Pasay City,” he said.

Albayalde was referring to a case where anti-narcotics cops shot dead father-and-son drug suspects in Pasay City after allegedly trying to escape by grabbing the firearms of the lawmen.

Investigation showed otherwise and the cops were charged with double murder.

He also insisted that only a few drug suspects are now getting killed since the recalibration of the war on drugs.

“The last case I know na lumaban is yung pumatay sa attorney ng Ombudsman (who fought back is the killer of the Ombudsman attorney),” Albayalde said, referring to Angelito Avenido Jr., suspect in the killing of Ombudsman Assistant Special Prosecutor Madonna Joy Tanyag.

He was shot dead by Quezon City cops last July 28 while being transferred from Camp Karingal to Quezon City Jail.