PNP relieved from apprehension on Albayalde’s fate with Duterte pronouncement
MANILA, Philippines — The entire Philippine National Police (PNP) has been relieved from apprehension following the pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte that he wants “clear proof” first before deciding the fate of PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde in relation to the issue on drug recycling.
PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac revealed this Wednesday, adding that he thinks it is better to wait for the results of the investigation on the alleged “ninja cops” involved in the controversial anti-drug operation in Pampanga in 2013.
“Definitely the pronouncement of the President has brought us relief for the entire PNP because everybody was also waiting,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel on Wednesday.
Albayalde is set to retire from the police force on reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56 in November 8.
Banac also said the credibility of the government’s drug war is not tarnished by the ongoing investigation on the alleged drug recycling racket within the police force.
He added that the PNP will continue to be relentless in the war on drugs, which has killed over 5,500 as of June this year, even as critics negatively comment at the brutal campaign amid fresh allegations against its enforcers.
“We don’t think so. Our performance, our accomplishments in the past will speak for itself,” he said when asked if the PNP thinks the drug war’s credibility is being affected due to the controversy.
He said the PNP instead looks at the issue “on a positive note.”
“We’ll let the Filipino people be the judge on how we performed for the last 3 years,” he said, adding that crime volume in the country has significantly gone down since 2016.
“That speaks well in the performance of the PNP in so far as suppressing drugs and fighting illegal drugs,” he said.
Banac echoed the same sentiments from Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo, who disagreed that the controversy could affect the credibility of the centerpiece campaign of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Albayalde, however, earlier admitted that the “even the war on drugs” and the morale of police officers are being affected by the controversy. /muf
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