Panelo: I’m not lawyering for Albayalde, only expressing views as lawyer
MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo on Thursday clarified he was not lawyering for former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde and was only expressing his personal views as a lawyer.
Panelo set the record straight after Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of the blue ribbon and justice committees, wondered why the former was acting as Albayalde’s “spokesman.”
“Prior to making my comments that riled my friend Senator Dick, I precisely made clear that I was not lawyering for General Albayalde but was only expressing my personal views as a lawyer on a particular subject that I was queried about,” Panelo said in a statement.
“I stated at the outset that I was doing so with all due respect to the resource persons who were accusing General Albayalde of wrongdoings, as well as to my government colleagues in the Senate,” he added.
Panelo earlier described as hearsay the testimonies of former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong linking Albayalde to the drug trade.
“It is basic that a conclusion of guilt should be pronounced only after an investigation or hearing, or a senate inquiry for that matter, has been terminated, with both sides being given the opportunity to be heard – and not while it is going on,” Panelo added.
The Palace official added his statements “cannot and should not be viewed as a challenge or an affront to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, its chairmanship or its present investigation.” /gsg
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.