Albayalde still has Duterte’s trust despite drug recycling controversy – Palace

Marje Pelayo   •   September 26, 2019   •   680

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (R) and National Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde (L) review honor guards during the 117th Philippine National Police (PNP) police service anniversary in Quezon City, Philippines, 08 August 2018. EPA-EFE/STR

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte maintains his trust on Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde despite allegations of involvement in illegal drug recycling controversy.

“Until such time as the President says otherwise, he remains in full trust and confidence of the commander-in-chief,” Palace spokesperson Salvador Panelo said, referring to Albayalde, in a briefing following the Chief Executive’s meeting with the PNP chief and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino.

This was the Palace’s response to controversies hounding the police official on his alleged links with policemen who recycle confiscated illegal drugs from drug suspects.

According to Panelo, Albayalde already reported to the President that the alleged syndicate of ninja cops was already disbanded during the time of former PNP Chief and now Senator Ronald Dela Rosa.

What remained, Panelo said, were only police scalawags involved in corruptions and various operations involving illegal drugs.

“Ang difference daw is iyong ninja cops was a syndicate (The difference was the ninja cops were part of a syndicate),” Panelo said.

“Kumbaga talagang may conspiracy, may mga link ang bawat isa. Pero itong mga police scalawags, kaniya-kaniya… kaniya-kaniyang kita (They said there was a conspiracy going on. They have established links. But these police scalawags are working individually),” he added.

Malacañang maintains that the ongoing internal cleansing among the ranks of the PNP, as well as the Duterte Administration’s anti-drug war, remains effective.

Proof to this are the arrests made on 124 police scalawags in entrapment operations.

Meanwhile, Panelo said, it is still up to the President to decide on whether or not to divulge the names of PNP personnel allegedly involved in illegal drugs operations. — MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

PNP, PDEA destroy over P8 million worth of marijuana in Kalinga

Robie de Guzman   •   April 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Some 43,000 fully grown marijuana plants and 400 grams of Cannabis products, estimated to worth P8.6 million have been destroyed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

In a statement on Friday, police said the marijuana plants and Cannabis products were destroyed by joint elements from the PNP and PDEA units in a three-day eradication operation at four plantation sites in Barangay Ngibat, Tinglayan, Kalinga this week.

Police said that at the first site with an estimated land area of 500 square meters, around 5,000 marijuana plants worth P1 million were uprooted, and 400 grams of dried marijuana leaves worth P48,000 were destroyed.

At the second plantation site with an estimated land area of 1,000 square meters, the PNP said that around 10,000 marijuana plants worth P2 million were destroyed.

Around 8,000 marijuana plants worth P1.6 million were also uprooted in the third plantation site with a land area of 800 square meters.

At the fourth site, with 2,000 square meter land area, authorities took out 20,000 marijuana plants estimated to worth P4 million.

The operation culminated at around 4:00 p.m. of April 14, the PNP said.

according to PNP chief General Debold Sinas, appropriate charges will be filed against those who cultivate marijuana plants.

“We will continue with the marijuana eradication operations nationwide with the aim of totally ending the illegal cultivation and sale of this plant,” he said.

“Likewise, appropriate court charges await against identified weed cultivators,” he added.

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Guns, phones used by agents in PNP-PDEA clash to undergo examination – NBI

Robie de Guzman   •   March 2, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Firearms, cellphones and other pieces of evidence recovered from the shooting incident between the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will undergo examination, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said Tuesday.

NBI spokesperson and deputy director Ferdinand Lavin said the PNP and PDEA have already turned over some of the evidence from the alleged misencounter that occurred between its operatives last week along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.

These include 29 guns and slugs which will undergo forensic examination to know which among these firearms were used during the shootout.

Police also provided a copy of the technical forensic evidence like autopsy reports, drug tests, DNA tests, paraffin tests, as well as the analysis of bullet trajectories to the NBI.

“Saan nakuha sa crime scene yung empty shells? Sino nakatama kanino? Anong baril nakatama, kanino? Kung may nakuhang slug doon sa katawan ng tao, malalaman natin more or less. Tinitingnan din namin yung relative position nung shooter to the target at approximate distance,” he said.

They will also look at recovered CCTV footage to help determine the positions and actions of operatives before and during the incident.

Cellphones used by the operatives have also been handed over to the investigating body.

Lavin said these devices will be analyzed by the NBI’s digital forensic team.

“Doon sa cellphone, malalaman natin yung takbo ng kwento, especially yung mga operatiba, (coordination?) Yes that’s parts of the analytics na gagawin,” he said.

Lavin said the NBI will gather next testimonial evidence, particularly those involved in the incident.

The NBI has been designated by President Rodrigo Duterte as the sole body to probe the alleged misencounter.

At least four people were killed in the shootout, including two policemen, one PDEA agent, and an informant. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

DOJ wants review of cops’ administrative, criminal liabilities in anti-illegal drug ops

Marje Pelayo   •   February 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) Inter-Agency Review Panel has submitted to the President and furnished a copy to the Philippine National Police (PNP) its preliminary findings in the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations of law enforcement personnel. 

The review covered the 328 cases of the thousands of illegal drug operations conducted since President Duterte assumed office in 2016.

According to DOJ Undersecretary Adrian Sugay, their recommendations include a review of possible administrative and criminal liabilities of erring cops that result in the death of suspects.

The PNP is expected to release its report on the matter in the first week of March.

The DOJ assures that all policemen who are involved in such cases will be held accountable based on the result of their review.

This came after an incident that happened in Quezon City where members of the PNP and agents from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) engaged in a shootout in an alleged anti-illegal drug operation.

“Any and all possible administrative/criminal liability against those involved in these anti-illegal drug operations where deaths occurred may be pursued depending on any further findings/recommendations,” Usec. Adrian Sugay stressed. (MNP with reports from Dante Amento)

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