Albayalde admits PNP lacks tech capability to vet intelligence info
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde admitted Monday that the police still lacks technological capability in verifying intelligence information, after a veteran community journalist was arrested over mistaken identity.
“Intelligence will rely on human intelligence. Medyo mababaw pa tayo pagdating sa technical and other technology na available dapat (We are still lacking in terms of technical and other technology that should be available),” Albayalde said in a press briefing at Camp Crame.
On Sunday morning, 61-year-old Margarita Valle, whose full name was Fedelina Margarita Avellanosa Valle, was arrested at the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental. She travelled four hours to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Region 9 in Pagadian City, only to be freed almost 12 hours later after police found out she was mistaken for Elsa Renton, also known as Tina Maglaya and Fidelina Margarita Valle, a suspected member of the communist movement.
Renton is the subject of a 2006 arrest warrant for arson, and a 2011 warrant for multiple murder with quadruple frustrated murder and damage to government property.
“Ang intelligence natin, the case build up na ginagawa natin based sa information na given also (by) informants (Our intelligence, the case build-up that we do are based also on information given [by] informants),” Albayalde noted.
According to Albayalde, ground officers arrested Valle based on information from a tipster. He also said the information was referred by their counterparts in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Albayalde has dismissed Valle’s arrest as “very rare” incident and an isolated case.
He also announced during the press briefing that he has directed CIDG to investigate Valle’s arrest for possible lapses so it will not happen again.
Meanwhile, PNP spokesperson Col. Bernard Banac said in a text message that the PNP has proposals to upgrade the equipment of the police with modern technology. (Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
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