Albayalde: ‘Drug queen’ issue shouldn’t have been publicized

Rambo Talabong

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Albayalde: ‘Drug queen’ issue shouldn’t have been publicized
'It’s as if the PNP is being blamed for everything already,' says a visibly frustrated Oscar Albayalde, who is set to retire on November 8

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – His voice cracking, a visibly frustrated Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde said that the issue of the Manila “drug queen” supposedly being in cahoots with cops should not have been brought out in public.

Because of the “revelation” the police are now taking intense flak from the public, said Albayalde.

Hindi kami ang nag-umpisa noong drug queen, drug queen na yun, remember that. Hindi kami ang nag-open noon. It’s not the PNP. In the first place, hindi sana nila binanggit dapat yun kasi we’re being blamed for that eh,” Albayalde told reporters at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) after his testimonial parade.

(We did not start the drug queen issue, remember that. We did not open that. It shouldn’t have been mentioned because we’re being blamed for that.)

Although the police chief did not name who raised the issue, it was former police general and now Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Director General Aaron Aquino who revealed it during a Senate budget hearing.

During that Senate hearing, Aquino said cops have been “rampantly” recycling illegal drugs and that they were engaged by an alleged Manila drug queen.

Days after the hearing the so-called drug queen was identified as former Sampaloc barangay chief Guia Gomez Castro.

With the issue now hounding the PNP, Albayalde acknowledged that his forthcoming retirement on November 8 would not be as smooth as he had hoped for, telling reporters “we have so much things to face.”

Why Albayalde is frustrated: The “drug queen” and “recycling” issues have spun out of control, that these have even cast doubt on the retiring Albayalde’s service record. 

Allegations have resurfaced about his involvement in a questionable anti-drug operation in Mexico, Pampanga in 2014 which led to his relief from the provincial chief post then.

Albayalde has since been invited to speak on the recycling issue before the Senate blue ribbon committee, which was originally investigating corruption allegations in the Bureau of Corrections.

Albayalde said he was not invited by the legislators for his time as Pampanga provincial chief, but as the head of the PNP. He has been cleared of that case as of 2017, he said.

He said he was ready to face allegations should these be revived. He added that he has met with President Rodrigo Duterte on the issue and that Duterte supposedly told him that he would tune in to his appearance at the Senate.

“I really do not know why the issue has been diverted to a very old issue, a recycled one. I really do not know,” Albayalde said in a mix of English and Filipino.

He added: “Kasi yun ang nangyayari eh, as if the PNP is being blamed for everything already (That’s what’s happening. It’s as if the PNP is being blamed for everything already).” –

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.