(OCTOBER 9, 2019) – A former ranking official of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) claimed on Wednesday that Chief PNP Oscar Albayalde admitted to having received part of the drug loot in the controversial anti-drug operation in Pampanga in 2013, as the Senate continues its investigation on “ninja cops.”
CIDG ex-deputy director Rudy Lacadin said Albayalde, then the provincial police chief, called him up to inquire about the on-going investigation at the time against the 13 “ninja cops.” Lacadin then alleged that Albayalde admitted to having taken ‘only a little’ part of the drug seizure.
“I don’t know if jokingly, [pero] ang sabi niya, ‘Actually, sir, kaunti lang ang napunta sa akin diyan,'” Lacadin said. “I cannot inform you na nagka-conduct ako ng investigation because this is just a validation, but if you have nothing to hide, wala naman kayong dapat katakutan.”
At the hearing, a seemingly bewildered Albayalde strongly denied the claim and called out the other officials for “ganging up” on him.
“I really do not know kung anong conspiracy rito. It seems that everybody’s ganging up on me, I really do not know,” the PNP chief said. He said that it’s “very unlikely” for him to call Lacadin because they never had a chance of working under one office.
Albayalde questioned, assuming the allegations were true, why he was not charged?
Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Richard Gordon tossed the question to then-PNP chief Alan Purisima.
“Maybe during that time the investigation was conducted, there is no solid evidence yet on the involvement of Gen. Albayalde,” Purisima replied. “If we charge him, there should be evidence.”
Albayalde was relieved from duty as Pampanga police chief after then-Supt. Rodney Baloyo and his group conducted a buy-bust operation of alleged Chinese drug lord Johnson Lee. The seized drugs, some 160 kilograms of shabu worth over P600 million. were believed to have been recycled.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino, then the Region 3 director, had earlier revealed Albayalde–then reappointed as NCRPO chief–called him to stop the implementation of the dismissal order on the erring cops.
Albayalde had continuously denied claims of involvement in the controversial raid. He had a month left on duty before his mandatory retirement on November 8, when he turns 56. (Randell Ritumalta/JMF)