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Let due process prevail on Albayalde’s fate: PNP

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MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Saturday it will let due process take its course after a Senate panel recommended the filing of graft charges against former PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde and 13 alleged “ninja cops” or police officers involved in the reselling of seized illegal drugs.

“The PNP will let justice, fairness, and due process of law takes its course. All accused remain innocent until proven guilty,” PNP spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said in a statement.

On Friday, Senator Richard Gordon, chair of the Senate blue ribbon and justice and human rights committees, presented the initial report, recommending graft charges against Albayalde and the “ninja cops”.

Banac also said it is up to the lawyer of the former PNP chief to take action on the findings of the Senate hearing.

“We leave it to Police General Oscar Albayalde and the other concerned PNP personnel, with their respective legal teams to address the other side issues that may come with their possible criminal indictment as recommended by the Senate panel,” Banac said.

“We assure our people that the PNP remains on track with renewed vigor to reform itself into the ideal shape to fight crime, illegal drugs, and corruption,” he added.

He said the PNP is responsive to President Rodrigo Duterte’s challenge and the public’s call for change.

“We fully understand his (President Duterte) frustrations and misgivings over the recent turn of events involving some PNP personnel. But we will not let him down,” Banac said.

Albayalde on Monday relinquished his post and went on non-duty status less than a month ahead of his retirement on November 8.

Before stepping down, Albayalde sought some legal advice from lawyer Estelito Mendoza, amid allegations dragging him into the controversy.

Albayalde went under fire for his alleged interference in the case of 13 erring police officers who were involved in the reselling of seized illegal drugs from a raid in Mexico town in Pampanga in 2013.

Albayalde, who was Pampanga provincial police chief at the time of the assailed anti-drug raid, was relieved from his post due to command responsibility.

During the Senate investigation on “ninja cops”, an issue which stemmed from a probe on the irregularities in the implementation of the Good Conduct Time Allowance, it was revealed that Albayalde allegedly tried to intervene in the implementation of the dismissal order against the cops involved in the raid. (PNA / Christopher Lloyd Caliwan)

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