Six cops will be available for drug probe -- Albayalde

October 29, 2018
Oscar D. Albayalde

PHILIPPINE National Police chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde yesterday said he has ordered the availability of six policemen in the ongoing investigation into the reported multi-billion-peso drug smuggling at the Bureau of Customs.

“In compliance with the orders of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, I have directed the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Directorate for Personnel and Records Management (DPRM) to ensure the availability of six dismissed and active PNP personnel to face investigation by the National Bureau of Investigation in connection with ongoing probe into the reported drug smuggling at the Bureau of Customs,” the PNP chief told the media at Camp Crame.

The PNP chief said they will give the accused all the fair chances to defend themselves but maintained that President Duterte “has his own source of information” on the anti-narcotics men.

"We will give them due process and let the court decide," he said as he stressed anew that the PNP's crackdown against scalawags in uniform remains to be unrelenting.

He identified the six as former Senior Superintendent Eduardo P. Acierto and active policemen Senior Supt. Leonardo R. Suan, Supt. Lorenzo C. Bacia, Inspector Lito T. Pirote, Inspector Conrado H. Caragdag Jr. and Senior Police Officer 4 Alejandro Gerardo R. Liwanag.

Except for Acierto, a member of Philippine Military Academy Class 1989 who was dismissed from the service by the Ombudsman for another administrative case, all others are on active duty status and remain under PNP control,” Albayalde said.

“I have directed the PNP Internal Affairs Service to immediately conduct an investigation to determine whether there is probable cause to file administrative cases against these active PNP personnel,” he added.

The six have cried foul over the charges against them and vehemently denied the charges against them saying they are all ready to face investigation and prove their accusers wrong.

“Una sa lahat, sinusuportahan ko ang laban kontra sa illegal na droga. Biente-syeteng taon akong TAPAT na nanilbihan sa Pambansang Pulisya. Hanggang ngayon, patuloy ang krusada ko laban sa droga. May pamilya din ako, asawa at anak. Ayaw ko silang mapahamak gawa ng droga. Walang katotohanan ang lahat ng bintang sa akin. Nagmamalasakit ako sa bayan. Kakampi ako ng bawat Pilipino na gustong mawaksi ang droga at mahuli ang malalaking isda,” Acierto said.

Suan also denied the allegations against him and maintained he is an officer who has been known for his successful anti-narcotics operations which led to the conviction of many notorious drug personalities in the past.

Acierto and his group were accused of ‘inventing’ stories about Chinese nationals involved in drugs in the country, the report fed to the President accusing him of corruption and having already created networks with different drug lords across the country and abroad.

Still appealing his dismissal from the police service on another case, Acierto expressed belief the truth will come out. “Sana may magsalita para sa katotohanan. What will happen now sa mga kaso ng tropa, sabihin nila lahat scripted?” he said.