Albayalde admits phone call to Aquino ‘inappropriate’ but asserts duty as ex-boss of 13 ‘ninja cops’

NCR Police Director Oscar Albayalde. (DZRJ image)

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Oscar Albayalde admitted that his phone call to Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director-general Aaron Aquino was “inappropriate” but still asserted that it’s part of his duty as the former boss of 13 alleged ninja cops.

The phone call was made by Albayalde during his time as Metro Manila police chief asking then Central Luzon Regional Director Aquino to stop the implementation of the dismissal order of 13 Pampanga cops who conducted an anomalous drug buy bust operations in 2013.

During the continuation of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee joint with Justice and Human Rights Committee, panel chairman Sen. Richard Gordon grilled Albaylde on the appropriateness of the said phone call.

“Pero from the standpoint of appropriateness…ang sinasabi natin dito the ethics, the propriety. I don’t want to teach you I would really say ‘I’m out of line I’m sorry,’” Gordon said.

“It is very inappropriate, sir but for me, (I’m thinking that) the family would ask,” Albayalde replied.

“If it’s really inappropriate but I really cannot (tell) if the phone call is really inappropriate to the eyes of everybody but in the eyes of a commander, hyou could just at least masabi man lang na na-refer ko nay an sa bagong RD (regional director),” he added.

However, Gordon was not convinced arguing that there were lawyers for the respective policemen who could follow up on the status of the case and it was no longer Albayalde’s duty.

The Senate is investigating on 13 former Pampanga cops who conducted an irregular buy-bust operation in 2013 in Mexico, Pampanga. These policemen seized around 200 kilograms of shabu but only declared around 36 kilograms.

They also captured a high-profile drug trafficker Johnson Lee but the foreign national managed to escape after the rogue cops detained a fall guy in exchange of P50 million.

The Pampanga police officers were found guilty of grave misconduct in 2014 for failure to account all confiscated evidence in the said drug operation.

They were originally ordered to be dismissed from service but former PNP Central Luzon chief and current CIDG Chief Amador Corpus ordered one-rank demotion following the Motion for Reconsideration filed in 2016.

Meanwhile, Albayalde maintained, during his opening statement, that he was only following orders when he did not oppose the relief order released by former Central Luzon Police Director Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta.

This was affirmed by Senator Panfilo Lacson, a former PNP chief, saying military and police officers were trained to abide by the orders of officers with higher ranks.

“Not to defend Gen Albayalde. Part of the training, basic principles of PMA (Philippine Military Academy), he who does not obey is not fit to command. We follow… I beg your indulgence, culture sa military and police ang aming kinahihinatnan. We never question why we were relieved. We never question our superior officers. No such thing in the military or police organization,” Lacson said.

“Iba ang kultura sa civilian especially sa civil governmentt, pwede mag-Motion for Reconsideration. Sa amin hindi ganoon. Pag tinanggal ka, without asking, we follow,” he added.