Panelo stands by DOJ’s indictment of Albayalde
MANILA, Philippines — Malacanang on Friday stood by the Department of Justice’s resolution to file graft and corruption charges against former Philippine National Police chief General Oscar Albayalde.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the justice department “just did its job” when it indicted Albayalde for non-implementation of an order that sought to penalize the police officers involved in the questioned drug operation.
Panelo said Albayalde may still avail legal remedies as he still enjoys the “presumption of innocence until a competent court finds him guilty beyond a resonable doubt.”
“Gen. Albayalde will now have a forum to address the charge,” he said in a text message. “Let the law take its course. Let the course render its judgement in accordance with the law.”
Panelo said the administration’s policy against illegal drugs including police authorities who abuse their power “remains unchanged.”
In a DOJ resolution, the case against Albayalde will be endorsed to the Office of the Ombudsman, which has the primary jurisdiction over crimes falling under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.
“The Panel found probable cause to charge Albayalde with violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for persuading, inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a violation of rules and regulations in connection with the official duties of the latter, and for causing any undue injury to any party, including the government,” reads DOJ’s statement.
The DOJ panel anchored its finding on Albayalde’s non-implementation of an order, which sought to penalize the 13 police officers allegedly involved in a drug operation in wherein they recycled the 162 kilograms of “shabu” (crystal meth) seized.
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