Albayalde complains of being ganged up

PNP Chief General Oscar Albayalde.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde claimed that he was being “crucified” and being “ganged up” during the Senate probe on the alleged ninja cops as another phone call was disclosed during the investigation.

This was Albayalde’s claim after former Central Luzon Police Office director Rudy Lacadin said that when he was assigned to conduct an informal investigation to validate the anomalous drug operations in Mexico, Pampanga in 2013 led by Albayalde’s former subordinates, the incumbent PNP chief called him saying he got a small benefit from the buy-bust.

“I cannot remember if he was still the PD (provincial director) of Pampanga that time, he called me up. Ang usapan, I cannot exactly remember, ang maalala ko “Sir naimberstigahan niyo raw kami,’” Lacadin, who was then the deputy director for operations of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Region 3, narrated his conversation with Albayalde before the panel.

Lacadin told Albayalde that he is conducting a probe subsequently Albayalde told him “kaunti lang ang nakuha ko d’yan.”

The former Pampanga CIDG officer said that he was not aware if Albayalde said that in jest or not but Albayalde quickly argued Lacadin’s claim.

“I really don’t know kung ano ‘yung conspiracy dito pero it seems that everybody is ganging up on me. I really don’t know. It’s very unlikely naman po na si Gen. Lacadin e sasabihan ko siya. We never had a chance [to be] under one office,” Albayalde said.

He further argued that if Lacadin’s claims were true, that should be charged against him six years ago.

“Hindi ko po alam kung ano yung against nya sa akin, pero kung sabihin mong sinabi ko yun, ang tanong ko uli, why was I not charged?” Albayalde said.

Senate Blue Ribbon Chairman Richard Gordon asked then-PNP chief Alan Purisima if there’s information that could possibly link Albayalde on the illegal drug operation.

Purisima said that during that time, there is no solid evidence proving Albayalde’s involvement on the said incident.

Senator Panfilo Lacson asked Lacadin again on his claims to clarify the context of Albayalde’s call.

Lacadin reiterated his statement that Albayalde’s conversation was made in the context of asking about the investigation he was conducting during that time.

“The premise of the conversation is based on the investigation that I am conducting that time,” Lacadin said.

Albayalde asked the Senate panel to be fair in deliberating the information questioning why Lacadin suddenly disclosed this information which could have been brought up six years after the conduct of the prior investigations.

“Tatlo na ‘yung (investigation). I was never charged administratively. It’s not about now… I’m sure you are being fair. Parang I am being crucified already pero biglang lumabas ito after six years? All of the sudden after six years,” Albayalde told the panel.

The Senate is currently investigating Albayalde and the case of 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.