Albayalde endorsed award, promotion for self and 13 Pampanga cops
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Oscar Albayalde had recommended the one-rank promotion and recognition for himself and 13 of his subordinates for their “outstanding performance” during the controversial 2013 drug raid in Pampanga.
At Wednesday’s resumption of the Senate justice committee investigation into the “ninja cops” controversy, panel chair Senator Richard Gordon presented a copy of the recommendation supposedly signed by Albayalde himself when he was still Pampanga police director.
Gordon, reading the document, said the 13 police officers were recommended to the next higher rank and given recognition for “having demonstrated outstanding performance… of duty for the successful buy-bust operation in… Mexico, Pampanga as manifested by the courage, professionalism, and devotion of duty.”
Albayalde was to receive a distinguished conduct medal, Gordon said citing the document.
“You’re giving yourself an award?” Gordon asked Albayalde.
In response, Albayalde said: “Yes, Sir.”
“Signatory po ako diyan (I am a signatory to that), it will be up to the regional director also to recommend to their higher headquarters,” the PNP chief explained.
But according to Gordon, such awards should not be given away like candy.
“Bigay ng bigay ng medalya, parang candy na lang na binibigay,” he said.
(Medals are just being given like it was just a candy given away.)
“I would suggest to whoever is at PNP, ‘wag naman ganyan para talagang (don’t do that so it would really be) well-deserved,” he added.
In 2014, Albayalde was relieved from his post as Pampanga police director over command responsibility for the questionable drug operation conducted by his men.
Nearly six years after the said drug raid, former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong alleged during a previous Senate hearing that Albayalde had also intervened with the dismissal of the 13 Pampanga cops.
The 13 police officers were charged for allegedly mishandling evidence from the anti-drug operation.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority (PDEA) director-general Aaron Aquino, then Central Luzon police director, also claimed during a Senate hearing that Albayalde had called and asked him not to implement the dismissal order against his men. Aquino said the calls happened while Albayalde was chief of the National Capital Region Police Office.
Albayalde has repeatedly denied the allegations against him in relation to the 2013 drug sting carried out by his men in Mexico, Pampanga. /kga
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