Panelo on Albayalde stepping down: He has had enough
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde “has had enough,” Malacañang said Monday, minutes after the highest police official stepped down from his post.
“I can only speculate that maybe he has had enough of, according to him, false, unfair accusations and innuendoes, especially because his family is suffering,” Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
Albayalde, who is set to retire on November 8, said in a speech at Camp Crame Monday morning that “after careful thought and deliberation, I have come to the decision to relinquish my post as Chief [of the] PNP effective today and go on a non-duty status.”
The police official had been tagged as one of the “ninja cops” or officers who pilfer or recycle drugs seized in police operations.
Former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief and now Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong told the Senate that Albayalde made a call to Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Aaron Aquino as he tried to intercede for the dismissal of the charges filed against his men who conducted the 2013 drug raid.
Albayalde has denied these accusations.
Asked if Malacañang believes that Albayalde is innocent, Panelo echoed Duterte’s line.
“I will follow the line of the President. Give me clear proof that he has profited from this drug and linkage that he’s involved. Until such time, the presumption of innocence applies to him,” he said.
In a CNN Philippines interview, Panelo said Albayalde remains to be innocent.
“Yes. All people accused of any crime should have the benefit of the presumption of innocence,” he said.
Albayalde, he said, still has the trust and confidence of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“[F]or as long as the President says nothing about it, the presumption, the reasonable presumption is, he has the trust,” he said.
In a statement, Panelo said “the Palace respects the decision of Philippine National Police (PNP) General Oscar Albayalde to go on a non-duty status (NDS) ahead of his retirement on November 8, 2019.”
“The NDS is a privilege and its availment is voluntary, in accordance with the National Police Commission guidelines,” he said.
“We wish General Albayalde all the best in his future undertakings as we express our sincere gratitude to the former PNP Chief for his services to this Administration, the nation and to the people,” he added./je
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.