Aquino recants; pins Albayalde on case vs Pampanga cops
MANILA, Philippines — Exposing an alleged plot against his family, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino finally admitted that Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde had asked him not to implement the dismissal order against 13 Pampanga policemen.
Aquino’s latest disclosure was a departure from his earlier statement during the last hearing of the Senate committee on justice and his interview with the media after the hearing.
“I wish to explain that my statement yesterday that General Albayalde called me up to know the status of the case of Baloyo and others is the truth,” he said told the committee on Thursday.
Baloyo is Police Supt. Rodney Raymundo Louie Baloyo, the leader of the controversial anti-drug operation in Pampanga in 2013 when Albayalde was still Pampanga police director.
“But he (Albayalde) also added during the same (phone call) request, and I quote: ‘Sir, baka pwede mo huwag mo munang i-implement ang order. Then I asked him: ‘Bakit, Oca?,’ where he answered, ‘Kasi mga tao ko sila’,” Aquino went on.
(But he (Albayalde) also added during the same [phone call] request, and I quote: ‘Sir, perhaps don’t implement the order for now.’ Then I asked him: ‘Why, Oca?,’ where he answered, ‘Because they are my men.’)
The PDEA chief said he then told Albayalde that he would ask a review of the case against the Pampanga cops and that he would send them to Mindanao.
Aquino was the director of Region 3 Police Office when a motion for reconsideration was filed on the dismissal order against Albayalde’s men.
At that time, Albayalde was the director-general of the National Capital Region Police Office.
In the last hearing, Aquino said Albayalde only asked about the status of the case. He did not say that the PNP chief had asked him not to implement the dismissal order against the 13 Pampanga cops.
It was Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, former head of the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, who told the committee that Aquino himself had told him that Albayalde had asked not to implement the dismissal order.
Interviewed by reporters after the hearing on Tuesday, Aquino denied Magalong’s claim.
At Thursday’s hearing, however, Aquino explained he was in “deep pressure and quandary” during the last hearing.
“I was thinking of my family who is now put in much deeper danger,” he said.
“A few days ago, I received a phone call from a friend who confirmed that some personalities are plotting against my family. The exact words are: ‘Sir, pinaghahandaan nila ang pamilya mo’.” (Sir, they are plotting against your family.)
“I know the pressure and challenges of my position as the main drug enforcer of the country but I literally broke down into small pieces hearing the information considering that my security escorts had also been recalled. I feel so helpless and defeated.”
“I was asking myself: Is this fight worth it? Why will I gamble the safety of my family? I kept thinking about my daughters and my sons, the youngest being only 12 years old. Tama ba na isugal ko ito? (Is it right for me to gamble this?) Laban sa mga kalaban na (Against those who are already enemies),” Aquino added. /kga
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