Albayalde concedes: ‘Very inappropriate’ to ask not to enforce an order
MANILA, Philippines—Philippine National Philippines chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde admitted on Wednesday that asking someone not to enforce an order was “very inappropriate.”
At the resumption of the Senate committee on justice’s investigation, Senator Richard Gordon squeezed Albayalde about the latter’s alleged request to then Central Luzon police chief Aaron Aquino to stop the implementation of the dismissal order against 13 Pampanga policemen.
The 13 police officers were charged for allegedly mishandling the evidence in an anti-drug operation in the province in 2013. Albayalde, at the time, was the Pampanga police chief.
Aquino, now the head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority (PDEA) director general, claimed that Albayalde, then National Capital Region Police chief, had asked him not to implement the dismissal order.
Albayalde, however, repeatedly denied asking Aquino to stop the implementation of the dismissal order against the Pampanga policemen.
“From the stand point of appropriateness —pag nilapitan mo, lakas ng loob mo, sasabihin mo kung gagamitin ko ang tradition nyo, underclassman ka lalapitan mo yung upperclassman may hawak syang order, lalapitan mo, inappropriate. Would you agree?” Gordon asked.
(From the standpoint of appropriateness— using your tradition, if you are an underclassman and you approached an upperclassman, holding an order, that’s inappropriate. Would you agree?)
“Sir, I never said na ganito, ganun gawin [I did not say that you do this or that],” Albayallde said.
But Gordon pointed to Albayalde’s specific request to Aquino not to implement the dismissal order against the Pampanga policemen.
“Ang sinasabi natin dito the ethics, propriety kaya nga sinabi ko inappropriate,” the senator said.
(What we are saying here is the ethics, propriety that’s why I said inappropriate.)
“You know, I’d really say, I don’t want to teach you, pero kung ako yun [but for me]: ‘I was out of line, I’m sorry,’” he added.
At this point, the PNP chief said: “Probably sir, it’s very inappropriate sir.”
“Yung sa akin kasi [For me] of course the family would ask, dahil alam nila [because they know] you’re the previous commander…” he argued.
“But then let them do that. Why you? Why you?” Gordon repeatedly asked.
“If it’s really inappropriate, I really can’t ano sir … kung talagang yung tawag is really inappropriate in the eyes of everybody pero as a commander, you could just at least kahit man lang masabi mo man lang na ni-refer ko na yan sa bagong RD [regional director]. Parang ganun lang sir,” Albayalde.
(If it’s really inappropriate, I really can’t [say]… if you really call it inappropriate in the eyes of everybody but as a commander, you could at least say that you referred [the case] to the RD.)
Apparently, his lengthy reply was not enough for Gordon, who is presiding over the hearing as chair of the committee.
Gordon said the sentiments of the Pampanga cops’ relatives could just be relayed through their lawyers.
“If it’s really inappropriate then probably sir talagang ano [it’s really like], pero [but] I maintain sir , we are in a military also sir…” Albayalde said.
Gordon interrupted Albayalde and corrected his last remark.
“You’re not in the military, you are a policeman,” the senator said. /jpv
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