Albayalde: Let's ‘move on’ from ‘ninja cops’ issue

LAGUNA, Philippines – After President Rodrigo Duterte called for him to be heard, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde heaved a sigh of relief and urged the public on Monday, October 7, to “move on” from the “ninja cops” issue.

“I enjoin everyone to move on now that the President has spoken,” Albayalde said in a press briefing in Camp Vicente Lim in Calamba, Laguna.

This comes after President Rodrigo Duterte said Albayalde needs to be “heard” before he makes a decision on his fate. The President added he needed “clear proof” that Albayalde committed wrongdoing in the issue. Duterte had assigned Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año to head the probe on Albayalde.

During back-to-back Senate hearings, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency or PDEA chief Aaron Aquino and Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong accused Albayalde of intervening in the dismissal of 13 Pampanga “ninja cops” when he was Metro Manila police chief in late 2016.

The 13 embattled cops mounted a buy-bust operation in November 2013 where they kept over a hundred kilograms of shabu (methamphetamine), accepted a bribe, and arrested a fall guy. All this happened under the nose of Albayalde, who was then the acting provincial police chief of Pampanga. (READ: 'Spectacle of a grand cover-up': Senate hearing bares how 'ninja cops' remain in service)

Albayalde admitted to calling Aquino about the administrative case of the 13, but denied telling him not to implement the dismissal order. He also denied any wrongdoing during the anomalous buy-bust.

“There has been no single proof whatsover that was shown kung sino ang nag-a-accuse dito (whoever accused here),” Albayade said. He said, so far, Aquino and Magalong have only made plain “accusations.”

He added: “I think ang ating mga kababayan ay matatalino din. Kayo na po ang magsabi kung meron ba o wala ni isa na proof. (I think our people are smart too. You say whether there is or is no proof.)

Albayalde is set to retire on November 8, when he hits the mandatory age of retirement of 56. He said he will not step down in advance. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

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