By Azer Parrocha
MANILA – Malacañang on Thursday said President Rodrigo Duterte will still await the results of the investigation before deciding on the fate of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde, amid new revelations against the top cop on his alleged involvement in the recycling of illegal drugs in 2013.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo reiterated that the President will decide based on the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año’s recommendations after the probe.
“Hayaan mo yung Senado magimbestiga, magkaroon sila ng findings, hayaan mo si DILG Sec magimbestiga (Allow the Senate to investigate, get findings, allow the DILG Secretary to investigate) and the President will act on them,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
Panelo said he does not know whether the President would be more inclined to dismiss Albayalde following this new revelation.
“The Office of the President says through the President himself, I will wait for the findings and recommendations of DILG,” Panelo said.
“Unless there is a statement to the contrary, the presumption is it remains the same,” he added.
During a Senate hearing on Wednesday, former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) deputy director, Col. Rudy Lacadin claimed Albayalde tried to intervene in the controversial 2013 drug operation in Pampanga when the latter was provincial police chief.
Lacadin said Albayalde called him up when he was asked to investigate the 2013 drug operation.
“Sabi niya (Albayalde said), I don’t know if jokingly, but he said, ‘Actually Sir kaunti lang naman ang napunta sa akin diyan (only a few of that went to me)’,” Lacadin quoted Albayalde as saying.
Albayalde denied Lacadin’s revelation, saying other generals including former CIDG chief and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong were ganging him up.
Panelo has repeatedly assured there would be “no sacred cows” in the Duterte administration.
Duterte earlier said dismissing a top official should be done “for a good reason” and with “enough proof.”
The President assured that procedural due process would be followed and that he would be “fair.” (PNA)