Labor leader tells Albayalde: Stick to solving crime, drugs
MANILA, Philippines — A labor leader seeking a Senate seat has advised Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde to stick to solving the drug problem instead of commenting on economic policies.
Labor Win senatorial bet and Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino chair Leody de Guzman also asked whether the entire PNP is already part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s economic team, casting doubt on Albayalde’s qualification to speak about labor issues.
“Qualified na ba magsalita si Albayalde tungkol sa mga investors at usaping pang-ekonomiya sa bansa? Hindi kasi kami nasabihan na member na pala ng economic team ang PNP,” De Guzman said in a statement, referring to the police chief’s earlier statement that labor leaders are turning off investors.
(Is Albayalde qualified to comment on investors and the economic issues of the country? We weren’t informed that the PNP is already part of the economic team.)
Albayalde said labor leaders, especially those from Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), are to blame for the lack of foreign investments in the country because investors pull out their projects out of fear of strikes and protests.
“Propaganda ito eh (This is propaganda). It’s the conditioning of the minds,” he added.
De Guzman claimed that Albayalde speaks as if he knows better than the country’s economic managers.
“Kung makapagsalita kasi itong si Albayalde, eh parang mas magaling pa siya kay Ernie Pernia o kay Ben Diokno (He speaks as though he is better than Ernie Pernia or Ben Diokno,” he added, referring to the heads of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
Albayalde himself was reacting to a matrix where PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines were tagged by KMU officials as ‘anti-workers.’
KMU has clarified its stance on the issue, saying they are not against investments but are clamoring for Filipinos to be prioritized in employment opportunities.
De Guzman passed the ball back to PNP, saying that the real reason why investors are scared is the government’s war on illegal drugs.
He said the PNP was implicated in the tokhang-for-ransom na nambiktima sa isang South Korean businessman na si Jee Ick Joo. The rising criminality, rising incidence of the salvaging of small-time drug pushers are also turnoffs for investors.
“Maige siguro na bago magkomento sa ekonomiya ay ayusin na muna niya yung bakuran niya (Maybe it’s best if Albayalde cleans his own backyard first),” he said.
On January 2017, the Philippine Daily Inquirer revealed that a police team from an anti-drug unit abducted Jee. The Department of Justice said that Jee was strangled to death in his vehicle, which was parked inside Camp Crame — the PNP headquarters.
Jee’s remains were cremated and his ashes flushed down a toilet. But even if he was already dead, kidnappers asked P5 million from Jee’s family as ransom. /ee
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