Press Release
October 14, 2019

Drilon: Albayalde not yet off the hook

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde is not yet off the hook despite his decision to relinquish his post ahead of his mandatory retirement next month, according to Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon.

"His continued stay as PNP chief has become untenable. His resignation ahead of his mandatory retirement, however, will not in any way clear him from his liablity, both administratively or criminally, in connection with the Pampanga ninja cops issue," Drilon said in a statement Monday.

Albayalde, who took the leadership of the PNP in April 2018, is set to retire by November 8. His last days in office, however, were tainted by controversy involving the alleged recycling of drugs by his men when he was provincial chief of Pampanga in 2013.

"Albayalde's continued defense, and his failure to condemn the acts, of Major Rodney Baloyo, and his men, in the face of the evidence indicated complicity to the criminal conduct of his men," Drilon stressed.

Drilon is among the first to call for Albayalde's resignation "in order to save the PNP from embarassment."

The former justice secretary and Senate President lamented "Albayalde's lack of sense of justice" for failing to, at the very least, condemn the illegal acts committed by his men.

Worse, he said the former PNP chief may have had a hand in the cover-up, he stressed.

The Senate Blue Ribbon and the Justice and Human Rights Committee have evidence to suggest that the 13 ninja cops indeed violated the Dangerous Drugs Act and that there was a conspiracy to cover-up, Drilon added.

He said he expects that the two committees will recommend amendments where recycling by law enforcement should be punishable by life imprisonment, and a stronger enforcement to the provisions on mandatory destruction of confiscated drugs under the Dangerous Drugs Law.

Drilon said he will also push for amendments to the law's implementing rules and regulations, particularly with regard to the period of destroying seized contraband to address the issue of drug recycling.

In light of these controversies surrounding the PNP leadership, Drilon also urged for a strict and better vetting procedure for PNP officers.

"We expect a better vetting process should be instituted in the selection of next PNP Chief, and in general, in the assignment of PNP officers," Drilon said.

"The next PNP chief will have to work doubly hard to regain the credibility of the police community and the government's drug war," he added.

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