MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde successfully influenced Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino to not implement the dismissal order against 13 Pampanga police officers accused of recycling illegal drugs seized from a November 2013 operation.
This was the impression of Sen. Richard Gordon on Wednesday, after concluding a six-hour probe on the so-called “ninja cops” — police officers involved in the recycling of seized illegal drugs.
It was revealed during the hearing that Aquino did not sign the recommendation to junk the March 2016 motion for reconsideration filed by the 13 police officers and thus affirm the November 2014 dismissal order issued against them.
To Gordon, this was clear proof of the influence Albayalde, then chief of the Pampanga Police Provincial Office, wielded over Aquino, then chief of the Central Luzon Police Regional Office.
Back in 2016, Albayalde called Aquino asking him not to implement the dismissal order against the 13 officers.
“Even if you say that there was no influence, it was already inappropriate for you to approach him. And you even said that they were your men. That’s the dealbreaker,” Gordon, speaking partly in Filipino, told reporters in an interview.
He added that the failure of Aquino to implement the dismissal order also showed “poor generalship.”
“He did not sign it, which I think is a sign of poor generalship. As a general, you must make decisions,” Gordon said.
Gordon also surmised that Aquino was not telling everything he knew about the whole incident.
“Quite frankly, General Aquino knows a lot more about this issue, but it seems he’s saving some of his information,” he said. “But at least, he came out with the truth with what happened between him and Albayalde.”
The dismissal order against the 13 police officers was downgraded to a one-rank demotion in October 2017 by Maj. Gen. Amador Corpus, who by then had replaced Aquino as Central Luzon police chief.
Corpus is now chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.
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