PRO-7 stands behind Albayalde amid ‘ninja cop’ allegation vs the PNP chief
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Oscar Albayalde can be assured that the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) stands behind him amid speculation from the Senate over his alleged involvement in the recycling of illegal drugs.
In a statement on October 2, 2019, Police Brigadier General Debold Sinas, the director of PRO-7, said they have no doubt about the credibility and integrity of their director general despite the claim of former PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief, Benjamin Magalong, that Albayalde was involved in a drug controversy in 2013.
Magalong, the incumbent mayor of Baguio City, alleged in the Senate Inquiry on October 1, 2019 that Albayalde, when he was chief of the Pampanga police in 2013, had intervened in the dismissal of the 13 police officers who supposedly made millions of pesos from seized illegal drugs during a raid in Pampanga in November 2013.
This was denied by Albayalde who said that Magalong’s allegations was a “simple matter of perception.”
Albayalde said he was not sure if Magalong dragging his name into the controversy was “something personal” for the former CIDG chief, who he believed was “definitely not” a man of integrity.
“Of course, we always have trust in our chief PNP. I don’t know why that happened but for us, our chief PNP is doing fine,” said Sinas.
Although Sinas admitted that the results of the Senate hearing can be demoralizing for the police force, he reminded the PRO-7 personnel to continue with the anti-illegal drug operations whatever may happen in the Senate.
“Just observe the hearing, don’t get low morale. We will know the truth eventually since there will be a second hearing. The whole PRO-7 supports the PNP. I know he can handle this challenge and he is doing fine. There were a lot of changes and reforms chief PNP ordered that worked fine in PRO-7,” he said.
As for the ninja cops in Central Visayas, Sinas reiterated that it is no longer rampant and there are no active syndicate of ninja cops in the region.
He said they would continue with the internal cleansing programs in PRO-7 to catch ninja cops still operating in the region.
In earlier statements, Sinas said they have identified seven ninja cops in the region but all had been either dismissed or facing charges.
Sinas revealed that most of these ninja cops had admitted that they took away the drugs immediately after the operation and before an inventory could be conducted.
For this reason, PRO-7 has implemented stricter rules in operations to avoid drug recycling, including requiring all policemen involved in anti-drug operations to wear clothes that have no pockets and to conduct the inventory of seized drugs in front of a local authority.
The PRO-7 crime laboratory also conduct regular inventory of all stored illegal drugs so they can be turned over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for destruction. /elb
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