Palace: DOJ 'just did its job' in indicting Albayalde for graft

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 17 2020 06:48 PM

MANILA—Malacañang on Friday said the Department of Justice was just doing its job in resolving to indict former police chief Oscar Albayalde for graft for allegedly protecting his men tagged in the sale of seized drugs in 2013.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Albayalde would have a chance to defend himself from the allegations.

“The DOJ just did its job. Gen. Albayalde will now have a forum to address the charge. He can avail of all legal remedies,” Panelo said.

“The Constitution accords him the presumption of innocence until a competent court finds him guilty beyond reasonable doubt,” he added.

A panel of state prosecutors said Thursday it found probable cause to charge Albayalde with violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act in relation to a 2013 anti-drug operation in Mexico, Pampanga.

Albayalde resigned in October last year, just weeks before his retirement, as he faced allegations of protecting his men linked to selling seized illegal drugs during his time as Pampanga police chief.

The officers were tagged in pilfering some 160 kilos of shabu from a 2013 operation against a suspected Chinese drug lord.

In a statement, Albayalde said he welcomed the development as he would finally be given a chance to defend himself in court.

"I welcome this development as the chance to once and for all clear my name in the proper forum. Finally, I will have my day in court," he said.

Panelo reiterated that the government would not tolerate abuses by police officers as well as the proliferation of illegal drugs.

“Let the law take its course. Let the the courts render its judgement in accordance with law,” he said.