Philippine national police chief steps down amidst drug scandal

Philippine national police chief resigned yesterday after he faced allegations in a Senate hearing that he intervened to prevent his officers from being prosecuted for allegedly selling a huge amount of illegal drugs they had seized.

Philippine national police chief steps down amidst drug scandal

Oscar Albayalde, the head of the Philippine National Police, has resigned amid a drugs scandal. (Source: https://www.newcastleherald.com.au)

Gen. Oscar Albayalde said hisdecision was accepted by Secretary of the Interior and Local Government EduardoAno over the weekend but he insisted on his innocence. The police chiefstressed that he has never been criminally or administratively charged for thealleged irregularity.

Albayalde, 55, steppeddown just a few weeks before his scheduled retirement on November 8.

Albayalde once headedthe police force in Pampanga province north of Manila when 13 of his officersseized a large amount of methamphetamine, a powerful and prohibited stimulant,in a raid. The officers later faced allegations that they presented a small volumeof the seized drugs, then hid and sold the rest, with suspicions being fueledwhen they purchased pricey SUVs not long after.

However, he pointedout that state prosecutors cleared the officers of criminal complaints they hadfaced for the alleged offenses.

 

Albayalde said theallegations against him may have been an offshoot of jockeying for the toppolice post that he would vacate if he has stayed in his post until hisretirement.

But two police officials testified in Senate hearings that Albayalde did not take adequate actions tohave his men be criminally prosecuted.

One of the two officials,Aaron Aquino, who now heads the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, testifiedthat Albayalde called him then to inquire about the status of the cases againsthis officers.

Albayaldeacknowledged that as a result of the 2013 incident, he was transferred to aregional police force without being given any specific assignment or post.Several months after, however, he was appointed as metropolitan Manila policechief and as national police chief in April 2018./. VNA

 
 
 
 
 
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