Karapatan hits Albayalde, PNP amid ‘ninja cops’ issue: ‘Resignation does not absolve you from your crimes’

As Oscar Albayalde relinquished his post as the chief of the Philippine National Police, human rights group Karapatan strongly reminds authorities that his resignation should not be used as an absolution from the alleged crimes he has committed, including his supposed involvement in a ‘drug-recycling’ scheme initiated by the institution’s ‘ninja cops.’ This is notwithstanding the corruption and human rights violations committed by the police under his leadership, particularly under the sham war on drugs.
“The accusation against Albayalde indicates the hypocrisy of this sham drug war, and further proves the corruption within the police. A circus Senate investigation that will likely lead to non-action is far from enough to exact accountability. The PNP not only perpetuated the massacre of entire communities, but even made their crimes an income-generating scheme. Indeed, the illegal drug problem can never be resolved with such militarist schemes which only breed the corrupt and the most bloodthirsty of State forces," Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said.

Weeks have already passed since news about his involvement broke out. According to reports, back in 2016, when Albayalde was then regional director for Metro Manila, he made a phone call to Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Director General Aaron Aquino to discuss the case of the ‘ninja cops’ whose names were released over questionable anti-drug operations in 2013. Meanwhile, former Criminal Investigation and Detention Group (CIDG) chief Benjamin Magalong said that Albayalde would know all the details of the operation since he was the Pampanga police chief back in 2013. 

“Albayalde will leave his post unscathed, still enjoying his retirement benefits while families of drug war victims continue to reel from the loss of their loved ones. It is enraging how this government suddenly remembers due process to protect human rights violators, but have no recollection of what it is when they conduct operations in small communities. Duterte once said that an official will be removed from office even with just a whiff of corruption, but the past cases of Faeldon, Lapena, and many others show that this is all hogwash. At the end of the day, there is no accountability as this government allows human rights violators to walk free; this government protects its own kind,” added Palabay.

“We demand accountability! Albayalde must be made accountable for the corruption and protection of his fellow corrupt police agents. This is how impunity continues in the Philippines, with Albayalde calmly telling the public to move on after he has been assured of the President’s backing. While he has made pronouncements on his resignation, this is not tantamount to accountability for the human rights violations the PNP has committed under his watch. We do not need grandstanding and dramatic acts meant to illicit pity. What the Filipino public needs is accountability: Albayalde and his henchmen should be charged, tried and jailed, and this sham drug war should be ended,” Palabay noted.

“Thousands of Filipinos were killed in a bloody war directed against the poor, yet this regime has allowed authorities to live with comfort in exchange for the implementation of an abusive policy. Albayalde’s involvement in a drug scheme only proves that such militarist policies can never resolve criminality or socio-economic ills, but rather breed already corrupt police officers into greedy and ruthless vultures. Not only has this drug war failed to end the illegal drug trade in the country, it has also enabled a police force to take advantage – in all means possible – of the poor’s sufferings,” Palabay concluded.