Albayalde sees politics behind Magalong’s accusations: ‘It probably has to do with the next PNP chief’

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FILE PHOTO. The country’s top cop believes politics may be behind the accusations linking him to an alleged irregular anti-illegal drug operation in Pampanga in 2013.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 4) —The country’s top cop believes politics may be behind the accusations linking him to an alleged irregular anti-illegal drug operation in Pampanga in 2013.

In an interview with CNN Philippines’ The Source Friday, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde questioned the timing of the allegations, saying it may have something to do with his replacement.

“I can only surmise because I’m about to retire and probably it has something to do with the person who wants to be the next PNP chief,” Albayalde, who is set to retire in November, said.

“They will destroy my reputation, my integrity so that kapag ako ay nag-endorse sa Presidente that’s a kiss of death already. Wala kasi akong makitang ibang motibo eh,” he also said.

[Translation: They will destroy my reputation and integrity, so when I endorse my replacement to the president, that’s a kiss of death already. I don’t see any other possible motive.]

Former PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief Benjamin Magalong, now the mayor of Baguio City, accused Albayalde of attempting to block the dismissal of 13 "ninja" or drug-linked cops over a questionable drug sting in Pampanga when he was provincial police chief. The Pampanga policemen supposedly kept 160 kilograms of shabu for themselves and got ₱50 million and new SUVs in exchange for the freedom of Chinese drug lord Johnson Lee.

READ: Albayalde accused of blocking dismissal of subordinate 'ninja cops'

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Albayalde allegedly asked then Central Luzon police chief Aaron Aquino to stop carrying out his men's dismissal order, a claim the PNP chief has denied. The police chief was already Metro Manila police chief at the time.

“If Mayor Magalong was really emphatic and so serious in this case, [why not] when he was the director for investigation and detective management, when he had all the power, influence and authority? And now he’s saying he was so busy? This is part of the job description. And why after six years?” Albayalde said.

Magalong, however, was quoted in a news report as saying that he is not pushing for a PNP chief to replace Albayalde.

Albayalde also raised his eyebrows over the resurfacing of the Pampanga drug raid.

Magalong brought up the issue during the Senate’s investigation of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law. The Baguio mayor disclosed the supposed “Agaw Bato” scam perpetrated by rogue policemen. This came after Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Aaron Aquino said recycling of seized illegal drugs was still rampant.

READ: Magalong reveals receiving death threats after ‘ninja cops’ testimonies

“The thing in Pampanga, is it really related to the GCTA? Really? We’re talking of detainees here, we’re not talking about ninja cops here, we’re not talking about recycling here,” Albayalde pointed out.

“I was called there as a resource person, not as an accuser,” he also said. “This is what we call politics probably in our organization.”

Albayalde said the issue has affected the police force and his family.

“Affected ‘yung organization namin, affected ‘yung family mo, I think even the whole Filipino nation is affected here. Our war on drugs is really affected also,” he said.

[Translation: The PNP, my family, and even the nation are affected. Our war on drugs is really affected also.]

“I will be lying if I say me and my family [were] not affected. In anything when your integrity is being questioned openly in public, sino bang nasasakan (who feels hurt)? It’s your family. I hope these people have families also,” Albayalde added.