Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde on Tuesday denied trying to influence the outcome of the case against his former subordinates allegedly involved in the recycling of seized illegal drugs following a buy-bust in Pampanga in November 2013.
During a Senate hearing, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino, who was then the PNP Region 3 (Central Luzon) director, said Albayalde, who was then the acting head of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) in 2016, called him to ask about the status of the case against the 13 Pampanga police officers.
Albayalde, who served as Pampanga provincial police chief at the time of the anti-drug raid, was relieved from his post due to command responsibility.
“There was a time when General Albayalde called me. I cannot recall kung anong (the) specific date but it’s between July and December 2016. Nagtatanong siya ng (He was asking about the) status of the case,” Aquino said.
“I told him na gusto ko i-review muna yung kaso na yun. Sinabi niya sa akin ‘for the meantime, i-pareview niyo muna yan and i-pacheck kasi gusto ko malaman kung ano talaga yung magiging result ng investigation na yan’. (I told him that I wanted to review the case. He told me, ‘for the meantime, review and check the case because I want to know the result of the investigation),” he added.
Albayalde, meanwhile, admitted that he asked Aquino about the status of the case but denied influencing or asking for any favor regarding the case against his former men.
“Yes, I asked him the status, only the status. I could not possibly influence a regional director or an upper class(man),” Albayalde said.
The 13 erring cops were ordered dismissed but the penalty was reduced to demotion after a motion for reconsideration was filed on March 14, 2016.
The police officers involved were Superintendent Rodney Raymundo Baloyo, Senior Inspector Joven de Guzman Jr., Senior Police Officers 1 Jules Maniago, Donald Roque, Ronald Santos, Rommel Vital, Alcindor Tinio, Eligio Valeroso, Police Officers 3 Dindo Dizon, Gilbert de Vera, Romeo Guerrero Jr., Dante Dizon, and Police Officer 2 Anthony Lacsamana. PNA.GOV.PH