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Albayalde takes more heat

ALBAYALDE

ALBAYALDE

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Oscar Albayalde is taking more heat after a retired general recalled that he also inquired about the internal investigation being conducted by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) on the drug buy-bust conducted by the 13 police officials in Mexico, Pampanga in 2013.

Appearing at the continuation of the Senate’s hearing into the so-called ‘ninja cops,’ retired general Rudy Lacadin, told senators that he received a call from Albayalde at the time the CIDG’s probe was conducting a discreet probe into the controversy.

“Gen. Albayalde is a friend of mine. One time, we were partners in business, and he actually re­placed me as the executive officer of the DPL (directorate for plans) in Camp Crame when I was reas­signed as regional director for Re­gion 3,” Lacadin recalled.

Pressed by Sen. Richard Gordon, Lacadin said he and Albayalde ven­tured in a water business.

“He called me up actually…I cannot recall the conversation but as far as I remember he said, ‘sir naimbestigahan nyo daw kami? And I said yes, Oca, I did not in­form you na nagco-conduct ako ng investigation kasi this is just a vali­dation,” Lacadin said.

According to Lacadin, he recalled telling Albayalde “but if you have nothing to hide, wala naman kay­ong dapat katakutan (you have nothing to be afraid of).”

“Sabi niya, and I don’t know if he was joking, but sabi niya, ‘actually sir, konti lang naman ang napunta sa akin diyan’,” Lacadin narrated.

Lacadin said he did not seek any elaboration from Albayalde, be­cause he did not want to be influ­enced with their ongoing validation process.

“But if we can go back to the records of telephone calls, that was the time eh called me up. I did not make the call,” Lacadin recalled.

To this, Albayalde responded to the committee saying he can­not understand “why everyone is ganging up on him.”

“I really do not know sir kung ano yugn conspiracy dito. But it seems that everyone is ganging up on me. I really do not know,” Albayalde said.

“It’s very unlikely na Gen. Laca­din, sasabihan ko siya (nang ga­nun). We never had a chance of being under one office. Hindi ko po alam kung ano dahilan at against siya sa akin – si Gen, Lacadin, pero kung sabihin mong sinabi ko yun, ang tanong ko ulit, why was I not charged?” he pointed out.

“After all these investigations – tatlo na po ang nag-imbestiga your honor, why was I not charged?” he stressed.

At this point, former CIDG chief and now Baguio City Mayor Benja­min Magalong recalled that when they were trying to conduct the probe some of their investigators received feelers from the other members of Baloyo’s group who wanted to speak out.

But when these po­lice officers learned that the case filed by the group of Gen. Raul Petrasanta was weak, they backtracked.

“I knew of one par­ticular Dizon; he was one of those who want to talk. We tried our best to convince them, to testify, to use their statement into written testimonies. Pero wala ho eh di namin ma convince natakot na po sila,” Magalong said.

“Kaya I keep on saying, admittedly, we have no hard evidence against Gen. Albay­alde,” the Baguio City Mayor said.

At this, Albayalde protested saying he cannot understand why these issues are crop­ping up six years after it happened.

But Lacadin interject­ed that he has nothing against the Chief PNP and was mainly just stating the facts of what happened at the time they were investi­gating the case.

“Magkaibigan ho kami, and I know that after this, di na katulad ng dati ang aming sa­mahan,” Lacadin said.

“But why after six years you will now re­member everything? Why did it not come out during the conduct of the investigations?” Albayalde retorted.

“In all honesty, Mr. Chairman, ako po ay na float for so many years, I suffered a lot…” he added. (Hannah Torregoza)

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