Drilon: Next police chief must work ‘doubly hard’ to regain PNP’s credibility
MANILA, Philippines — The next chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) would have to work “doubly hard” to regain the credibility of the police force and the administration’s war on drugs, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said.
“We expect a better vetting process should be instituted in the selection of next PNP Chief, and in general, in the assignment of PNP officers,” Drilon said in a statement on Monday following Albayalde’s resignation as PNP chief.
“The next PNP chief will have to work doubly hard to regain the credibility of the police community and the government’s drug war,” he added.
Albayalde relinquished his post as the country’s top cop amid allegations that he protected his subordinates, who were charged for allegedly mishandling the evidence confiscated from an anti-drug operation in Pampanga in 2013.
He was the Pampanga chief at the time.
Not yet off the hook
Drilon said that despite Albayalde’s decision to relinquish his post ahead of his mandatory retirement next month, he is not yet off the hook.
“His continued stay as PNP chief has become untenable. His resignation ahead of his mandatory retirement, however, will not in any way clear him from his liability, both administratively or criminally, in connection with the Pampanga ninja cops issue,” the Senate leader said.
Albayalde, who took the leadership of the PNP in April 2018, is set to retire by November 8 upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56.
“Albayalde’s continued defense, and his failure to condemn the acts of Major Rodney Baloyo, and his men, in the face of the evidence indicated complicity to the criminal conduct of his men,” Drilon pointed out.
Drilon was among the first ones to call for Albayalde’s early retirement “in order to save the PNP from embarrassment.”
The senator, who was a former justice secretary, also lamented Albayalde’s “lack of sense of justice” for supposedly failing to, at the very least, condemn the illegal acts committed by his men.
Drilon noted that the Senate blue ribbon and the justice and human rights committees, which are investigating the “ninja cops” controversy,” have evidence to suggest that the 13 ninja cops indeed violated the Dangerous Drugs Act and that there was a conspiracy to cover up the incident.
He said he expects that the two committees would recommend amendments where recycling by law enforcement should be punishable by life imprisonment, and a stronger enforcement to the provisions on mandatory destruction of confiscated drugs under the Dangerous Drugs Law.
The senator, likewise, said he would also push for amendments to the law’s implementing rules and regulations, particularly with regard to the period of destroying seized contraband to address the issue of drug recycling. /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.