Magalong: Albayalde’s lawsuit vs accusers only a ‘smokescreen’
MANILA, Philippines — The looming lawsuit of former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde against those who tagged him in an anomalous 2013 drug sting in Pampanga is only a “smokescreen” to hide his “deception,” Baguio City Mayor and retired police official Benjamin Magalong said on Tuesday.
Magalong had accused Albayalde of intervening on the dismissal case of 13 Pampanga police officers who were involved in an alleged irregular drug bust in 2013. Albayalde was then Pampanga police chief.
Another retired police official, Rudy Lacadin, also claimed that Albayalde called him to inquire on the case of the so-called Pampanga “ninja cops.”
Albayalde denied the allegations and added that he intends to file charges against the former police officials who linked him to the alleged irregular 2013 drug bust in Pampanga.
“It’s part of his defense. It’s a smokescreen. It’s deception to portray that we are the ones who are lying, and not him,” Magalong said in an interview over ABS CBN News Channel.
“If I were in his shoes, that’s probably the best course of action that I would have to take,” he added.
Magalong expressed confidence that in the end, it would be revealed that he and other police officials were the ones telling the truth.
“It’s all about the truth, seeking of the truth. I’m pretty sure that if he files the case in court, and everything is laid out and spread out, the truth will come out that we are the ones who are actually telling the truth. He was the one lying,” the former police official said.
He then urged the Pampanga police officers involved in the 2013 drug sting to cooperate and “start talking.”
On Monday, Albayalde announced that he was going on non-duty status.
In an earlier statement, Magalong said Albayalde “has no choice” but to step down as the country’s top cop as “PNP officers and rank and file inside Crame are avoiding and evading him.” /muf
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