MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered an investigation into Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde over allegations that he is protecting "ninja cops" or police officers who recycle confiscated narcotics.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Friday said it would investigate Albayalde "fairly and thoroughly."
"We will go where the evidence will point us. We will look at the allegations against him. And do a fair and thorough investigation as much as we can because I think this is what the President wants and what the public demands," DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya told ANC.
Malaya said they would also take into consideration results of the Senate's inquiry into the issue. The President earlier said he would await the conclusion of the inquiry before taking action on the allegations against Albayalde.
Albayalde was chief of the Pampanga regional police in 2013 when several of its members were accused of recycling drugs by Benjamin Magalong, then head of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, whose charges were dismissed due to lack of evidence.
Malacañang had earlier said the President "trusts" Albayalde amid Magalong's claims.
"Given the fact that this man whose reputation has never been soiled and considering the fact that the President trusts him, then anything that will link him to any irregularity will be a black propaganda," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier said.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Aaron Aquino on Thursday claimed Albayalde asked him not to enforce any decision on the policemen’s motion for reconsideration on their dismissal from service.
He earlier said Albayalde only called him to seek updates on the case.
Up to this day, the Pampanga police officers are still on active duty, and the justice department said it was expediting the review of their criminal cases.