Napolcom: Ex-general said Albayalde’s phone call ‘did not mean anything’
MANILA, Philippines — Retired Brig. Gen. Rudy Lacadin said his phone call with then Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde related to the 2013 Pampanga drug raid “did not mean anything” to him, the National Police Commission (Napolcom) said Wednesday.
Napolcom Vice Chairman Rogelio Casurao said Lacadin told this to a panel of nine investigators who investigated Albayalde on the alleged drug recycling case in Pampanga where the erstwhile PNP chief previously served as police director.
The phone call was about Albayalde allegedly telling Lacadin that he only benefited a little from the operation, where some P648 million worth of “shabu” were allegedly missing and recycled by 13 policemen. Lacadin revealed this during one of the Senate hearings on the “ninja cops” issue.
“During his testimony in our committee, in our investigation team, he was able to expound on that, and what was very revealing was he said that he took that phrase for granted because it did not mean anything to him,” Casurao told ABS-CBN News Channel.
Lacadin was deputy director for operations of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Central Luzon and was investigating the case when the supposed phone call was made by Albayalde. He could not recall the exact date of the conversation.
Albayalde earlier threatened to sue Lacadin for this allegation.
Casurao said the panel asked Lacadin if he did not find the phone call very significant to the investigation.
“He [Lacadin] said, well I did not want to meddle my conclusion and my findings with his [Albayalde] statements because I might be misled,” the Napolcom official said, quoting the response of the retired general.
Casurao said Lacadin was “practically discounting the testimony as something that would bolster accountability on the part of Albayalde.”
“So that is evidence minus one,” he added.
He said Lacadin’s testimony and other pieces of evidence were the basis for the Napolcom to conclude that there is no substantial proof to file administrative charges against Albayalde before he retires from the PNP on November 8.
Casurao, however, said there was no inconsistency in the statements of Lacadin before the Senate and Napolcom. He said Lacadin only had “more time” with the Napolcom because the panel “allowed him to speak.”
He added that Lacadin could not even remember other details of the phone call, including whether the phone he used was government-issued or not.
“Had he remembered things, we could have pursued by asking him what was the telephone number. What made you believe that it was Albayalde who was on the other line?” said Casurao. /jpv
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