MANILA - Philippine National Police chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde had sought an award for himself and 13 Pampanga cops for a 2013 drug raid that would later be questioned for various irregularities.
Sen. Richard Gordon, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon and justice committees probing alleged anomalies at the police force, presented a letter signed by Albayalde recommending an award for himself and a one-rank promotion for his subordinates.
“I’ve nothing against you, but I just find it strange that you recommended the following for ‘having demonstrated outstanding performance for the successful buy-bust operation,’” Gordon said.
Albayalde argued that the recommendation for the promotion was subject to the approval of higher police officials.
Albayalde was Pampanga police chief when 13 cops led by then Supt. Rodney Baloyo raided a home in Mexico town and arrested a Chinese national.
Albayalde was relieved from duty after an investigation revealed that the policemen pilfered with some 160 kilograms of meth and only presented some 36 kilograms as their seized haul.
The cops were also accused of setting free suspect Johnson Lee in exchange for P50 million. They allegedly presented another Chinese, identified in earlier reports as Ding Wengkun.
PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Benjamin Magalong and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino accused Albayalde of intervening in the case of the Pampanga cops.
The two retired police officials said Albayalde called up to ensure that the cops would be spared from being axed.
During Wednesday’s hearing, former Central Luzon police chief Rudy Lacadin said Albayalde not only tried to influence the outcome of the investigation but even admitted partaking in the drug loot.
Albayalde has maintained his innocence and rejected calls for his resignation.