Former Philippine National Police Chief Oscar Albayalde, who stepped down from his post exactly a week ago, was slapped today with a host of criminal charges, including failing to prosecute the team of Pampanga policemen who allegedly seized then resold methamphetamine during a contentious 2013 drug bust in Mexico, Pampanga.
The Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) filed an amended referral complaint before the Department of Justice addressed to Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento, which named the force’s former boss for his alleged involvement in the shady drug bust, Rappler reports.
Albayalde has been charged with mishandling illegal drugs, corruption, falsification of documents, and dereliction of duty.
The referral complaint comes after the Department of Justice reopened the case last week. In its amended referral complaint, the PNP-CIDG placed Albayalde first on the list, along with 13 Pampanga Cops, according to ABS-CBN News and CNN Philippines.
Earlier this month, the Senate conducted an investigation into the anti-drug raid in Mexico, which accused the Pampanga cops of allegedly stealing at least 100 kilos of methamphetamine from the crime scene and reselling them to drug dealers. Albayalde — who was then the chief of police of Pampanga — was temporarily relieved from his job due to the questionable nature of the operation, only to go on to later be elevated to chief of the PNP. He has continued to deny his involvement in the controversial case, even after his resignation on Oct. 14.
Albayalde has repeatedly maintained that he did not protect the officers accused of reselling the confiscated meth. He has also maintained that those who have accused him of doing so — including former top investigator and current Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Aaron Aquino — were doing it for “publicity.”
Magalong, also a former chief of the PNP-CIDG, identified the cops involved in the operation as Senior Inspector Joven de Guzman Jr., senior police officers Jules Maniago, Ronald Santos, Donald Roque, Rommel Vital, Alcinador Tinio, Eligio Valeroso, and Dante Dizon, and police officers Dindo Dizon, Gilbert De Vera, Romeo Guerrero, and Anthony Loleng Lacsamana — all of whom remain on active duty.
The 13 Pampanga cops have been charged with mishandling illegal drugs, planting evidence, violating an order of the dangerous drugs board, bungling the prosecuting a drugs case, corruption, and bribery.
In a text message to reporters today, Albayalde said, “At least I will be accorded due process now,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer reports.
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