Albayalde seeks help from retired colleague as police chief gears up for ‘ninja cops’ Senate probe

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BAGUIO CITY (CNN Philippines, September 28)— Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Oscar Albayalde said he’s ready to face the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on Tuesday, when lawmakers begin their probe into the alleged involvement of police officers in the illegal drug trade.

But he's not going alone.

Albayalde said retired PBGEN. Manuel Gaerlan will help him explain before the Senate what really happened during the November 2013 drug operations in Pampanga.

The police chief said Gaerlan was then the Deputy Regional Director for Operations of PNP Central Luzon when the incident happened. Gaerlan was the one who led the investigation on the case.

"Nag-volunteer siya mismo because he knows everything. Siya mismo ang nag-imbestiga doon at umamin siya, he was directed by then General (Raul) Petrasanta to lead the investigation," Albayalde said in an interview after his testimonial parade at the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City.

[Translation: He himself volunteered. He was the one who investigated it, he was directed by then General Petrasanta to lead the investigation]

Albayalde served as the provincial director of Pampanga Police when his subordinates allegedly recycled hundreds of kilos of shabu seized from a Chinese national in Mexico, Pampanga.

Then PNP Central Luzon Chief BGen. Raul Petrasanta administratively relieved Albayalde from his former post due to command responsibility.

"Number one it's the accusation nga hindi ba. ‘yung recycled ‘yung sa thing in Pampanga which (was) already dismissed way back 2017. At paulit-ulit ko na sinasabi doon na... I think General Gaerlan who was the DRDO then, I will be asking, he is willing to testify," Albayalde said.

[Translation: Number one, it’s the accusation that the recycled incident in Pampanga which was already dismissed way back 2017. I have repeatedly said that I think General Gaerlan was the DRDO then, I will be asking, he is willing to testify.]

Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman Richard Gordon on Wednesday forwarded to President Rodrigo Duterte a list of policemen supposedly involved in the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison.

The list was based on former PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Chief and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong's testimony during a closed-door session of the committee last week.

Gordon earlier said Magalong and 15 other policemen allegedly involved in the drug recycling have been invited to the Tuesday hearing to shed light on the issue.

Another senior police officer has also been invited to corroborate Magalong's testimony.