By Aaron Recuenco
Embattled Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said he has no intention to resign amid the controversy over allegations that he protected 13 of his men who were accused of recycling more than 160 kilos of shabu and earning more than P60 million in a bogus buy-bust operation in Pampanga in 2013.
Describing efforts to kick him out of the PNP ahead of his retirement as a “trap”, Albayalde said that he will never fall into the trap of quitting before his mandatory retirement on November 8 this year.
“I will not fall in that trap. I will wait for the President’s decision and I will wait for (Interior) Secretary (Eduardo) Año’s decision,” Albayalde said in an interview over ANC.
“Whatever they say, as I have said, I am expendable,” he added.
On Tuesday’s Senate hearing, Albayalde was linked to a dubious drug raid in Pampanga in 2013 wherein his men allegedly got more than 160 kilos of shabu and at least P55 million from a suspected drug lord.
A few weeks after the raid, Pampanga and the rest of Central Luzon were allegedly flooded with shabu whose market price went down considerably. It was also reported that those who participated in the operations simultaneously bought Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs).
The 13 so-called “ninja cops” were investigated, charged, and later dismissed.
However, the dismissal order was not implemented and was later amended to demotion despite the gravity of the offense.
What pinned down Albayalde during the hearing was when then Central Luzon regional police director and now Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino disclosed that Albayalde called him up to check on the status of the dismissal order against his men.
But Albayalde said there is nothing wrong with checking on the status of the case of his men.
“It’s really very normal in our organization,” he explained.
In the past interview, Albayalade linked efforts to have him booted out of the PNP earlier than his retirement to intense internal politics inside the PNP, especially at Camp Crame where top police officials hold office.
He did not elaborate.
Calls for Albayalde to quit have been mounting as he allegedly placed the police organization and President Duterte in bad light amid the drug war which catapulted the Chief Executive into power during the 2016 polls.
President Duterte earlier aid that he would wait for the Senate to conclude its investigation before he would decide on the fate of Albayalde.