'Malapit ka na': Magalong says worried about death threats after 'ninja cop' claims

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Posted at Oct 05 2019 10:26 AM | Updated as of Oct 05 2019 10:51 AM

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MANILA - Former police official Benjamin Magalong said Saturday he has received death threats after accusing Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police Gen. Oscar Albayalde of protecting "ninja cops" or officers who allegedly recycle confiscated narcotics.

"Mumurahin ako tapos [sasabihan ng], 'Malapit ka na.' Tatakutin iyong pamilya mo, pati ikaw, papatayin. Ipapa-check ko, wala na, hindi mo na ma-check," said Magalong, former head of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

(I would be cursed off, told "Your end is near." They'll threaten to kill your family and you, too. I'd have the messages checked, but they could no longer be checked.)

"Matindi itong pag-contact na nila ng mga gun-for-hire, d'yan na ako nag-aalala," he added.

(Their attempt to contact gun-for-hire groups is serious, that worries me.)

Magalong, who is now mayor of Baguio City, said he has requested additional security from the PNP and received offers of help from "senior officers" in the national headquarters and other regions.

"Kung 'di nila ma-feel na pinaglalaban ko sila, balewala, wala sana, matamlay sana ang reaction nila," he said.

(If they don't feel that I'm fighting for them, I will be snubbed, their reaction would have been halfhearted.)

Magalong earlier told lawmakers that Albayalde had sought to defer the dismissal order against 13 of his former subordinates from the Pampanga police, who were accused of pilfering some 160 kilos of shabu in a 2013 operation.

Albayalde denied this, saying the dismissal order was downgraded to demotion after the officers filed a motion for reconsideration. The PNP chief also questioned the timing of the accusations against him and insinuated that Magalong was envious of him.

Magalong is the PNP chief's upperclass at the Philippine Military Academy: the former from class 1982, the latter class 1986.

Magalong, for his part, denied his allegations were politically-motivated.

"Common sense dictates na walang politics... Tapos na ang eleksyon, katatapos lang. Mabuti sana kung malapit na ang eleksyon," he said.

(Common sense dictates there's no politics. The elections are finished. That would have been sensible if the elections were near.)

"Tingnan niyo iyong reputation ko, tingnan niyo iyong aking track record sa iba-ibang controversial issues na hinarap ko noon. Walang puwedeng magdikta sa akin," he added.

(Look at my reputation, look at my track record in various controversial issues I previously faced. No one could dictate on me.)

Magalong once led an investigation into the deaths of 44 elite policemen in a 2015 anti-terror operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. The inquiry held then President Benigno Aquino III and PNP Chief Alan Purisima liable for the botched operation.

In 2006, he was detained for allegedly leading a coup against then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, but was absolved of the charges. He was on floating status until 2010, Albayalde earlier said.

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered an investigation on Albayalde over the allegations. Albayalde has, meanwhile, left it up to the President if he should resign before his retirement on Nov. 8.