Albayalde should consider resigning – Gordon

Published October 2, 2019, 3:52 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Mario Casayuran

Beleaguered Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde should consider resigning as an option.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde; Senator Richard J. Gordon (MANILA BULLETIN)
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde; Senator Richard J. Gordon

Senator Richard J. Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon and Justice Committees, made this observation following last Tuesday’s public hearing on the 2013 raid in Mexico, Pampanga that he said reeked of corruption and cover up.

The resignation call notwithstanding, Albayalde is set to retire early November.

Gordon said both Albayalde and Aaron Aquino, current head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), should also come clean on the illegal drug war waged by the Duterte administration that appeared to have been negatively affected by a highly questionable 2013 raid in Pampanga.

Former PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) head and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong revealed in Tuesday’s Senate hearing that only 38 kilos of shabu were declared to have been confiscated in the raid when, in fact, 200 kilos were seized. The value of the missing 162 kilos was pegged at more than P600 million.

Asked if Albayalde consider resigning, Gordon said both Aquino and Albayalde know what to do.

“The PNP should not be demoralized. They should be happy, they should come out and say ‘titignan natin. Sinuwelduhan tayo ng maayos ayusin natin’,’’ he added.

Gordon also said he was “not in a position to give anybody an ultimatum I am not going to impose on myself.”

He said Albayalde should not go on leave but should appear in the resumption of the hearing Thursday.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said he believed that the signal was clear.

“Albayalde will be allowed to finish his term as PNP chief next month. The 5,000-plus “tokhang” victims were not even allowed to finish the day. Sad,’ he added.

Senator Panfilo M. Lacson, a Philippine Military Academy (PMA) graduate like Magalong and Aquino, said he knew Baguio city Mayor Magalong too well to vouch for his integrity.

“I put his character to test a few times during the time that he was with the PNP even before I headed the police organization in late 1999 and he passed them all with flying colors. I have no reason to doubt his motive in testifying before the Senate committee, which he did not volunteer to appear and testify in the first place,’’ he said.

“I can sympathize with CPNP (Chief PNP)  Albayalde whom I had no opportunity to work with directly when he was still a junior police officer, but he impresses me as well as a hard-working, no nonsense chief of the country’s national police,’’ he pointed out.

“He is retiring soon and I can feel the hurt he’s experiencing on account of the current controversy brought about by rogue cops who like persistent termites continue to destroy the police  institution in spite continuing efforts to cleanse and reform.”

But Lacson underscored that he was “certain that (Police Lt. Col. Rodney) Baloyo and his men committed grave misconduct and possibly serious criminal acts in that Nov 29, 2013 drug raid in Pampanga mainly because of his demeanor in answering questions from the senators, at one point even attempting to be evasive by invoking his right to remain silent not to mention the documents and affidavits of witnesses that are already in the committee’s possession.”

Magalong said Albayalde got a new SUV following the raid that resulted in the reduction of the price of “shabu’’ in the Pampanga area.

Albayalde vehemently denied this, saying he drives an old pickup truck.