By Ellson Quismorio
“That’s very unlikely.”
Thus, said Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde in a chance interview with Senate reporters Wednesday afternoon when asked about the allegation of ex-Central Luzon regional police Chief Rudy Lacadin that the former called him regarding the case of Pampanga cops involved in the alleged anomalous 2013 drug operation involving a foreign drug lord.
“Ipa-explain mo na lang siguro sa kanya, I really do not know kung ano yung motive niya (You should make him explain, I really don’t know what his motive is),” Albayalde said of the now-retired Lacadin as he quickly left Senate premises after the conclusion of the joint panel hearing on the “ninja cops” controversy.
“[But] he (Lacadin) has to explain. He has a lot of explaining to do. That’s very unlikely,” the PNP chief said.
“Deputy siya ng CIDG noon, ni Gen. [Benjamin] Magalong (He was a deputy then of Gen. Benjamin Magalong at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group). So you know the connection already,” Albayalde said, as if insinuating something.
Magalong, now mayor of Baguio City, was the first to drag Albayalde’s name into the issue of ninja cops, or police officers who dip their hands into the illegal drug trade, particularly through the recycling or reselling of confiscated illegal drugs.
Now, Lacadin has done the same to the PNP chief by delivering arguably the most memorable quote during the Wednesday hearing.
Lacadin claimed during his interpellation by the joint Senate panel that then-Pampanga police chief Albayalde called him up regarding his investigation on the supposedly anomalous drug operation in the province six years ago.
He said that Albayalde told him, “Actually sir, konti lang napunta sa akin diyan (Actually sir, I only received a little from that).”
Lacadin declined to elaborate on the alleged phone call or Albayalde’s remarks during a separate chance interview following the hearing.
“Huwag niyo nang…Kung ano yung sinabi ko [sa hearing], yun na yung sa akin. Alam niyo naman siguro na mainit yung sitwasyon (Please don’t…what I said in the hearing is all I’m going to say. I think you know that the situation is sensitive),” he said in a calm manner.