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PNP should strengthen criminal case vs. Albayalde — PDEA chief Aquino

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Director-General Aaron Aquino on Monday said that the Philippine National Police (PNP) should strengthen the criminal case it filed against former top cop Police General Oscar Albayalde in connection with a questionable drug bust in Pampanga six years ago.

"Minsan nakakapanghinayang 'yung mga ganoong paraan tapos mapa-file-an ng kaso nang mahina. Siguro it's better na the PNP should do something about that para mapalakas 'yung kaso," Aquino said in an interview on CNN's The Source.

"Maybe the new CIDG [Criminal Investigation and Detection Group] would do something on the case para mas mapalakas. Na-file naman na eh, hindi pa naman late para mapalakas pa ulit 'yung kaso," he added.

Two weeks ago, the CIDG added resigned police chief General Oscar Albayalde as a respondent in criminal charges being reinvestigated by the Department of Justice.

During the interview, former CIDG chief Benjamin Magalong and Senator Richard Gordon were quoted as saying that the formal complaint filed against Albayalde was quite weak and may be easily dismissed.

"Si General Magalong galing CIDG and he knows very well kung 'yung kaso malakas o hindi so most likely mahina nga," Aquino said.

"He's been there in the CIDG for a long time and alam na alam niya, so being a police general, eksperyensado si General Magalong with regards to filing of cases," he added.

Both Magalong and Aquino appeared before the Senate inquiry concerning alleged drug recycling activities of ninja cops in Pampanga during Albayalde's time as provincial police chief. Magalong said that Albayalde attempted to manipulate the dismissal order against 13 of his subordinates who figured in the questionable anti-drugs operation in Pampanga.

Aquino, who was PNP-Region 3 regional director at the time, acknowledged that Albayalde had called him about the dismissal order.

Albayalde, on the other hand, welcomed his inclusion as 14th respondent in CIDG's amended complaint.

"At least I will be accorded due process on this,"  Albayalde said. — Dona Magsino/BM, GMA News