‘Lumambot:’ Gordon says Aquino retracted revelation on Albayalde’s phone call
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Richard Gordon revealed on Wednesday that Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino retracted his supposed revelation on Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde’s phone call to him in 2016.
Gordon said Aquino earlier told him that Albayalde phoned him sometime in 2016 allegedly to request not to implement the dismissal order of 13 police officers involved in an irregular anti-drug operation in Pampanga in 2013. Albayalde was a provincial police director during the operation.
Aquino was the director of the Central Luzon PNP while Albayalde was director of the National Capital Region Police Office when the phone call happened.
“I am very disappointed. Nung kausap ko siya, sabi niya: ‘Ito ang nangyari, sir, kinausap ako [ni Albayalde],’” Gordon said in an interview with reporters. He added Senator Franklin Drilon was also in the meeting.
(When I spoke with him, he told me: This what happened, sir, Albayalde called me.)
Gordon answered in the affirmative when asked if Aquino told them that Albayalde requested for the dismissal order not be implemented. Aquino instead ordered that the police officers be transferred to Mindanao, a previous form of punishment in the PNP for erring police officers.
Asked of the possible reason why Aquino heeded the alleged request, Gordon said: “Pag may peer pressure ka na, may class pressure mahihirapan ka na. D’yan mo makikita kung tunay kang lalaki.”
(When there is peer pressure and there is class pressure, you will find it hard. That’s when you will know if you are a real man.)
In 2017, the dismissal order was downgraded into a one-rank demotion for the involved officers when now Criminal Investigation and Detection Group director Maj. Gen. Amador Corpus — Albayalde’s mistah (classmate) at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Sinagtala Class of 1986 — was chief of the Central Luzon police.
But in an interview with reporters after the Senate investigation on the issue on Tuesday, Aquino said Albayalde did not intervene in the dismissal order and only asked for a review and status of the operation, echoing Albayalde’s defense during the hearing.
“Mali yun. ‘Yun ang sinasabi ko na lumambot [That’s wrong. That’s why I said he relaxed his statement],” said Gordon.
“Nung kausapin ko siya [Aquino] kahapon, I am very disappointed. Sabi niya nalito ako. You’re a general. Hindi ka pwede malito. Pati si General Magalong was very disappointed.”
(When I talked to Aquino yesterday, I am very disappointed. He said he got confused. You’re a general you should not get confused. Even General Magalong was very disappointed.)
Albayalde earlier said he could not have had any capacity to influence Aquino to not implement the dismissal order since, as NCRPO chief, he did not have authority over him and because Aquino is his upperclassman at the PMA. Aquino is a member of the PMA Sandiwa Class of 1985. /jpv
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