Oscar Albayalde
This file photo shows former Philippine National Police Pol. Gen. Oscar Albayalde
The STAR/Boy Santos
Magalong thinks criminal raps vs Albayalde ‘a weak case’
Ian Nicolas Cigaral (Philstar.com) - October 23, 2019 - 11:06am

MANILA, Philippines — Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong said Wednesday he cautiously welcomes the filing of charges against former Philippine National Police Pol. Gen. Oscar Albayalde, adding he believes the cases were hastily filed and would be dismissed for being “weak”.

The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group — the primary investigation arm of the PNP — announced this week it has filed a criminal complaint against Albayalde and other cops allegedly linked to illegal drugs trade.

The complaint stemmed from a 2013 raid in Pampanga where policemen allegedly “recycled” P1 billion worth of seized “shabu” (meth). Albayalde was the provincial police director of Pampanga at the time of the controversial operation.

In an interview with CNN Philippines — Magalong, a former director of the CIDG, said he was “wary” about the “quick” filing of raps against Albayalde.

“I suspect that it’s a weak case because based on my own experience, it takes some time to develop a case,” Magalong said.

“I’m just a bit cautious about it,” he added.

At a Senate hearing earlier this month, Albayalde was accused of protecting his former men — nicknamed “ninja cops” who allegedly sold confiscated narcotics back onto the back market — from dismissal and of receiving some of the money from the reselling of drugs.

Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee, said Albayalde did a “monumental cover-up”.

Amid the scandal, Albayalde stepped down less than a month before his retirement on November 8. He had denied the allegations and previously said that efforts to destroy him are part of the internal power struggle within the police force to prevent him from recommending to the president his choice of successor.

According to Magalong, the case against the country's former top cop should be strengthened.

“You can actually convict someone even if you have your circumstantial pieces of evidence but you have to establish that there is an unbroken chain of event,” he explained.

“And at the same time your pieces of circumstantial evidence should corroborate with each other,” he added.

BENJAMIN MAGALONG OSCAR ALBAYALDE
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