Albayalde sees 'politics' behind 'ninja cop' woes
MANILA — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police Gen. Oscar Albayalde on Saturday cast doubt on speculation that he's one of 2 unnamed "generals" who President Rodrigo Duterte linked to the narcotics trade.
Albayalde reasoned that he still has Duterte's trust, as Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo announced Friday night.
"Kung ako po iyon, hindi na siguro po magsasalita naman si Secretary Panelo kagabi," he told radio DZMM.
(If I were one of the 2 generals, Secretary Panelo would not have spoken last night.)
Speaking at a forum in Sochi, Russia, on Thursday, Duterte said 2 Filipino generals were "still playing with drugs." He did not say whether the two come from the police or military.
Albayalde was chief of the Pampanga police when 13 of his subordinates were accused of pilfering 160 kilos of shabu in an operation against a suspected Chinese drug lord.
Former police official and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, in a recent Senate hearing, accused Albayalde of seeking to defer the dismissal order against the Pampanga officers, which the latter denied.
The PNP chief, who will retire on Nov. 8, said the allegations against him were meant to "discredit" whoever he would recommend as his successor.
"Ang dapat maintindihan ng ating mga kababayan e mayroon kaming tinatawag na internal politics, sa amin po. Ito ang nakikita ko lang pong motibo," Albayalde said.
(Our compatriots should understand that we have a so-called internal politics. That's the only motive I see.)
The administrative penalty against Albayalde's former subordinates was downgraded to demotion after they filed a motion for reconsideration, while the criminal case against them was dismissed due to lack of evidence, he said.
Duterte has ordered the interior department to investigate Albayalde. He earlier said he would wait for the results of the Senate inquiry.
Asked whether or not he would resign just days before he reaches the police mandatory age of retirement of 56, Albayalde said, "I will wait for the decision of President."
"Kung ano pong sasabihin ng ating Pangulo, taos-puso ko pong susundin," he said.
(Whatever the President says, I will wholeheartedly accept.)