Gordon wonders why Panelo ‘suddenly’ acting as Albayalde’s spokesman
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo should stop acting like a spokesperson for resigned Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde, Senator Richard Gordon said Wednesday.
“I don’t know why suddenly Sal is engaged in being a spokesman for General Albayalde, he should not be the spokesman of General Albayalde, he should be the spokesman of the President,” Gordon told reporters in a phone patch interview at the Senate.
Panelo had earlier described as “hearsay” testimonies of former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Benjamin Magalong that Albayalde intervened with the dismissal case of his subordinates, who were accused of pilfering millions worth of illegal drugs seized during a 2013 Pampanga buy-bust operation.
Gordon, who is leading the investigation into the “ninja cops” controversy, argued that Magalong’s statement against Albayalde was corroborated by testimonies of fellow retired generals and several witnesses.
The Palace official had also earlier said that administrative cases could no longer be filed against the country’s former top cop after he already relinquished his post.
“Secretary Panelo is a lawyer like us and he is entitled to his opinion. I have asked prominent lawyers also…Administrative case can be filed and I got a text right away that: ‘Yes, an administrative case can be filed even if he has retired’,” Gordon went on as he denied going after Albayalde.
“I’m not going after him. I’m just citing the law as blue ribbon chairman,” he added.
Gordon further said that Panelo should respect the ongoing Senate investigation.
“He can make statements but that is being disrespectful because we are still in the clauses of the investigation and maybe he should have appeared as council for Albayalde,” the senator said.
“To me he is challenging the Blue Ribbon investigation. The Senate investigation of a very, very important case that the public has a tremendous stake in,” he added.
Last October 5, Panelo said the Senate investigation into the issue of rogue cops who pilfer and resell illegal drugs confiscated from police operations has already become “political.” /je
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