MANILA - Sen. Richard Gordon advised Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde to consider stepping down from his post following reports of his alleged involvement in the "agaw-bato" scheme.
"If I were him, I would probably consider resigning already... But that is his decision. I'm not going to influence him whatsoever," Gordon told ANC on Tuesday.
In a Senate hearing, Albayalde was accused by Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, former PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief, of intervening in the case of the PNP chief's former men at the Pampanga police office who allegedly made off with millions worth of shabu seized in a November 2013 raid in Mexico town, Pampanga.
Albayalde was chief of Pampanga police when a team of police officers allegedly made money from 160 kilograms of shabu worth around P648 million following an anti-drug operation on an alleged Chinese drug lord.
Magalong said, then-PNP chief Alan Purisima tipped him off about the allegedly anomalous operation after getting word that several officers, including Albayalde himself, started buying new cars.
Albayalde, who will retire before the year ends, denied Magalong’s allegation.
“I really don’t know what personal gripes Maj. Magalong here has on me. What I had in 2013 was a pick-up [truck]. I bought that from a neighbor,” Albayalde said during the Senate hearing.
Gordon, head of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee which has been investigating the issue, seemed to agree with Magalong.
"The impression is he (Albayalde) was trying to maybe intervene on behalf of his people," he said.
Magalong, who is Albayalde's senior in the Philippine Military Academy, first appeared at the Senate on the investigation into alleged corruption at the Bureau of Corrections. He later bared the alleged involvement of police officers in recycling drugs seized in anti-narcotics operations. - with a report from Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News