MANILA — The Philippine National Police denied Thursday that its chief Police Gen. Oscar Albayalde has resigned after another Senate witness accused him of protecting "ninja cops" who allegedly recycled confiscated narcotics.
Albayalde's supposed resignation is a "false report" and "could be fake news circulating in social media," PNP Spokesperson Police Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said in a text message to ABS-CBN News.
Albayalde was head of the Pampanga police when 13 of its officers were accused of pilfering some 160 kilos of shabu from a 2013 operation against a suspected Chinese drug lord.
Former police official Benjamin Magalong, in a recent Senate hearing, claimed Albayalde sought to defer the dismissal order against his former subordinates.
Another retired police official, Rudy Lacadin, told senators on Wednesday that Albayalde called him up to inquire about the case of the so-called "ninja cops" and allegedly admitted "a little" of the drug loot went to him.
Albayalde, the second PNP chief under President Rodrigo Duterte, denied the accusations, saying "it seems that everybody is ganging up on me" and that "it’s as if I’m being crucified already."
PNP CHIEF FIRES BACK
The PNP chief, who is set to retire on Nov. 8, reiterated that he would leave his fate to the President.
He also questioned anew the timing of what he dubbed as a "smear campaign" against him.
"Until now, despite the Senate hearings conducted, no hard evidence was ever presented showing that I was involved in that drug raid in Pampanga in 2013. All statements made remain allegations, insinuations, and unsubstantiated," he said.
He denied calling Lacadin, who he said was never a friend and instead, just a franchisee of his water refilling business in 2011.
"All those police officials ganging up on me have ill motives against me and obviously all worked with the previous administration," said Albayalde.
The dismissal order against the 13 Pampanga officers were downgraded to demotion after they filed a motion for reconsideration, he earlier said.
With a report from Raffy Santos, ABS-CBN News