Magalong, Aquino fear for security of own families due to heightened death threats
Maris Federez • October 4, 2019 • 594
“Wala lang galawan ng pamilya o kaya they just have to make sure that na ‘pag may ginawa siya sa ‘kin eh, I will not survive otherwise all hell will break loose.”
(Just don’t touch my family or they just have to make sure that when they do something to me, I will not survive otherwise all hell will break loose. )
This was what Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong had to say on the threats he has been receiving left and right in the past week.
The former chief of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) also confirmed that he received a piece of A1 or top quality information on Thursday (October 3) on the purported plans of those who want to hurt him.
“Tinext na agad ako noong security ko tinext na rin siya ng isang gun for hire na, yung kilala niyang gun for hire eh may kumausap na raw at pinag kuwan ako (My security texted me as he received a message of one gun-for-hire whom he knew. The gun-for-hire said someone has talked to him already and wants me dead). I just have to, you know, be conscious with my security lalong lalo na sa aking family (especially of my family),” Magalong said.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Dir. Gen. Aaron Aquino, on the other hand, said that he is already used to receiving death threats.
He, however, believes that the threats he is receiving now are more serious, which prompted him to also strengthen the security for his family.
“Natambangan ako ng (I had been ambushed) four times already. I even sold one of my small houses dahil kinasing na ako doon (because I had been monitored there). But the threat has intensified recently,” Aquino recounted.
All these stemmed from their expose on the 2013 agaw-bato incident in Pampanga that involved 13 police officers who allegedly engaged in recycling or reselling of illegal drugs that they confiscated from an anti-drug operation in Pampanga in 2013.
These police officers were under PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde when he was still the chief of Pampanga Provincial Police.
Aquino said that although he has no regrets doing what he did, he had to consult his family first before he made his move.
“Sabi nila (They said) the truth will set you free. Sabi nila (They said)‘Daddy, papa tell the truth,’” Aquino added.
Mayor Magalong, meanwhile, said he received messages from several police officers after Thursday’s Senate hearing.
“Thank you, sir, for standing and speaking up for the truth. We are carefully listening to all of the resource persons’ testimonies and honestly, sir, we are really demoralized,” Magalong quoted some of the messages. (from the report of Grace Casin) /mbmf
MANILA, Philippines – Members of the Inter-Agency Council on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) have signified their support for the agency’s co-chairperson Vice President Leni Robredo.
Dangerous Drugs Board Chair Catalino Cuy said they expect that Robredo will contribute improvements to the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs and is confident that the system will be free of any political motives.
“ The war on drugs is black and white. It has no political color. The success of anyone is our success,” Cuy said.
“Iyan ang target natin kaya nga ‘whole of nation’ approach dito. We welcome lahat ng sector, how much more the VP? The more na kailangan din natin ng kanyang view,” he added.
(TRANSLATION: That is our target, that’s why it is a “whole of nation” approach. We welcome all sectors, how much more the VP? We need her views all the more.)
Aside from DDB, other agencies who expressed support for Robredo were the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
“Ang partisipasyon ng Vice President ay napakalaking bagay. Dala niya ang kanyang opisina(The Vice President’s participation is a big contribution. She carries with her the) office of the vice president,” said PNP Spokesman PBGen. Bernard Banac.
“Siya mismo ay magiging isa sa mga inspirasyon natin at ang ating kampanya laban sa ilegal na droga ay magiging matagumpay (She herself will be among our inspirations and our campaign against illegal drugs will be a success),” he added.
ICAD is comprised of four clusters – the enforcement cluster, the justice cluster, advocacy cluster, and the rehabilitation and reintegration cluster.
Cuy said they cannot identify exactly what the role of the Vice President will be as the drug czar since they are still waiting for a schedule to meet with her.
But the official said, whichever of the four clusters Robredo wishes to focus on, she definitely has their support.
“The DDB will be willing to give the full assistance and support to the Vice President,” Cuy said.
“We are willing to give briefing for her of the anti-drug strategy being implemented,” he added.
Meanwhile, PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino expressed his full support for Robredo though he admits that it would feel different working with the Vice President.
“The help of Vice President Robredo is very much appreciated especially in terms of harm and demand reduction efforts. We are ready to assist the Vice President in her new task. After all, the objective is the same — to eliminate the drug problem in our country.” he said.
“While this is a welcome development for the illegal drug campaign, personally I cannot help but feel somehow awkward to have the second-highest elected official of the country as my co-chairman,” he added.
For now, the DDB and PDEA are waiting for a call from Robredo to be able to start the discussion on her roles inside the agency. MNP (with details from Lea Ylagan)
Joint operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), police and military seized P3.4 million worth of shabu and arrested two suspects in a buy-bust operation in Zamboanga City on Sunday (November 3).
Authorities identified the suspects as Alner Andao and Almigar Jimla of Barangay Ayala.
Seized from them were 10 sachets of suspected shabu weighing half a kilo; three cellphones; buy-bust money and the vehicle used in the transaction.
The PDEA said an informant alerted them of the suspects’ illegal activities which prompted the agency to immediately plan and execute said operation.
“Mayroon tayong confidential informant nagsumbong sa atin na mayroong pwedeng magbenta ng half kilo ng shabu. So dahil trabaho natin ito, eventually nag-assign tayo ng agent as undercover,” said PDEA agent, Jury Rocamora.
Andao and Jimla will be facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. — CAL (With reports from Dante Amento)
MANILA, Philippines – Senate blue ribbon committee chair Senator Richard Gordo said they are likely to recommend charges of graft and corruption, negligence and conspiracy against resigned PNP chief Oscar Albayalde.
Gordon noted the testimony of retired general Rudy Lacadin in the previous Senate hearing which accused Albayalde of benefiting from the drug recycling controversy in Pampanga as among the main factors for the possible lawsuit against the former PNP Chief.
So even after Albayalde relinquished his position, he is not yet off the hook, according to Gordon.
“Neglect of duty, life sentences,” Gordon said.
Senator Bong Go likewise agreed that if Albayalde is found guilty of participation in the drug recycling controversy, he should be held liable in court.
“Kung may ebidensya, managot ang dapat managot (If there is evidence then he who is liable should be sued),” the senator added.
Meanwhile, Senator Panfilo Lacson believes that Albayalde no longer has the chance to clear his name because of his resignation.
Gordon believes that the testimony of former police officer Ronald Santos will shed light as to how Albayalde and the 13 ninja cops profited from the seized illegal drugs and from the vehicles used in the operations in 2013.
He considers Santos as the missing link towards the resolution of the case.
The senator said there should be strict monitoring now in the PNP which should include even the replacement of Albayalde in the PNP chief position.
“Ang kinakailangan lang ang magpapatakbo ay mahigpit. Kahit na pulis iyan, kaagad dapat ang mismong pulis, suspended ka na at ang imbestigasyon tapusin kaagad,” Gordon said.
(The chief must have an iron fist. Even if it involves a cop, that police must be suspended and the investigation should be promptly completed.)
Despite the suspension of the Senate session, Gordon said he wants his committee to push through with the inquiry this week.
Lost “moral high ground“
The former PNP chief’s accuser, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, believes the mounting pressure compelled Albayalde to resign and such gesture provided a breather for the institution to move on.
“Sa tingin ko nararamdaman na rin niya ang pressure lalong lalo na sa kaniyang mga subordinates (I think he already felt the pressure especially from his subordinates),” the former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief said.
“Ikaw ba naman, hindi ka na rin gaanong pinapansin, anong mararamdaman mo? (If it were you being ignored, how would you feel?) So you lost the moral high ground to lead. Pinakamabuting gagawin ay mag-resign (The best that you can do is to resign),” Magalong added.
Magalong stressed, however, that what happened to Albayalde should not cause the public to lose trust in the PNP.
“Kokonti lang po yung may kalokohan na iyan (Only a few cops can be considered scalawags),” he said.
“Magtiwala lang tayo sa ating kapulisan, (Let us trust our police force,)” he added.
The former police officer, meanwhile, said he is ready should Albayalde decide to file countercharges against him. MNP (with details from Grace Casin, Nestor Torres, and Grace Doctolero)
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