Duterte to await Senate, DILG probe results before deciding on Albayalde, ‘ninja cop’ issues
Robie de Guzman • October 2, 2019 • 441
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he would opt to wait for the Senate and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to end their respective probes on the case of the so-called ‘ninja cops’ before deciding what action to take on them and on Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde who was linked to the controversy.
“So, the most proper thing to do, which is in line with procedural due process, is to wait for the closure of the investigation by the Senate,” Duterte told reporters on Tuesday evening (Oct. 1) during a press conference before departing for Russia for an official visit.
The president expects the DILG to come up with a report which will be his basis whether to “dismiss, discharge, terminate” any cop involved in the issue. He also assured he would be fair.
“When it is forwarded to me since the police is under DILG. It’s a bureau under Secretary (Eduardo) Año. So, I will forward it to him, give him specific period to complete his investigation,” he said.
When pressed for his comment on the possibility of dismissing Albayalde, Duterte said it he would do so only if he has sufficient proof of wrong doing.
“If it comes to a serious thing as dismissing a top official here and there, it has to be for a good reason and there must be enough proof,” he said.
The Senate on Tuesday resumed its inquiry on the alleged existence of ‘ninja cops’ in the force or those police officers engaged in the recycling or reselling of illegal drugs seized from operations.
The issue was revived when Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino bared during a 2020 budget hearing about the continued activities of ‘ninja cops’ and their link to the so-called Manila ‘drug queen,’ later identified as former village chief Guia Gomez Castro.
Albayalde’s name was dragged into the issue after former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief and now Baguio City mayor Benjamin Magalong mentioned a controversial 2013 anti-drug operation carried out by cops under Albayalde who was then the head of Pampanga police provincial office.
Albayalde was relieved from his post in 2014 for command responsibility while the involved operatives were charged and ordered dismissed.
The dismissal order, however, was not implemented as the police officers were only demoted in 2017.
Magalong accused Albayalde of intervening in the case of his former men, which the PNP chief denied. He insisted during the Senate hearing that he only called then Central Luzon Regional police director Aquino in 2016 to ask about the status of his former men’s case.
Prior to facing the Senate probe, Aquino, Magalong and Albayalde met separately with Duterte to discuss the matter.
Although the PNP continues to cleanse its ranks of corrupt cops, Duterte said it has yet to fully rid of police scalawags in the force.
“Alam mo ang PNP is not that bad. By and large, we have a very good PNP working for our country. Iyong scalawags diyan sa ‘yung ninja cops have been there in Manila, one or two in Davao, and everywhere,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte reminds the public to heed government protocols for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis even after community quarantine has been relaxed.
On May 16, Metro Manila shifted to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from enhanced community quarantine to help revive the Philippines’ crippled economy.
But President Duterte stressed that such relaxation in restrictions doesn’t mean the country is free of COVID-19 and warned that the government might again tighten restrictions if situations get worse.
“Remember this, the loosening of the restrictions does not mean [we’re COVID-free],” he said.
“If the contamination will be as fast as before, and it will continue to infect yung nakalabas na (people who are allowed to go out), then we’ll have to just go back to original program,” he added.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque denied allegations that the government is not ready or has no policy for the conduct of COVID-19 mass testing.
Roque stressed that the government in fact is now preparing to hit the target of 30,000 a day testing capacity by the end of May.
“From the very beginning, we have had a systematic targeted testing at sa tingin po natin ang sinusunod natin ay benchmark recognized internationally specifically by the WHO,” the Palace Spokesperson said in defense against against critics who are questioning the government’s advice of letting private companies shoulder COVID-19 testing for their respective workers who are returning to work.
Roque added that the government is targeting to test around 1.5% to 2% of the more than 100 million Filipinos for COVID-19 infection and clarified on what is referred to as ‘mass testing.’
“Ang tawag po dapat ay expanded targeted testing,” he said.
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte travelled to Davao City on Friday (May 15) to visit his family.
The President opted to stay in Metro Manila in the past two months to focus on his work amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak and due to tight restrictions under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Aside from family visit, the President intended to check on the situation in Mindanao relative to the health crisis.
“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is now in Davao City to visit his family whom he has not seen in months and to assess the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation in Mindanao,” Roque said.
The Palace spokesman assured, however, that the President will be present in the scheduled meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 on Tuesday (May 19).
“Rest assured that he will be back in Malacañang in time for the next IATF briefing,’ Roque concluded. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)
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