By Mario Casayuran
Sen. Christopher Go said Friday the filing by the Department of Justice (DOJ) of criminal cases with the Ombudsman against former Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde and 12 other policemen sent a clear message to those who violate the law.
“This filing of cases sends a very strong message to everyone, including those personnel entrusted to implement the law, that we are serious in this relentless war against illegal drugs and we will not backtrack in this campaign,” Go said in a statement sent to Senate reporters.
“Our relentless campaign against illegal drugs continues and will intensify further until we put an end to this menace.”
Go said the filing of charges against Albayalde and company means that “the government gives every Filipino citizen an opportunity to defend himself in a court of law.”
“After all, one is presumed innocent unless proven guilty,” he added. “Sinasabi naman po ito ng Pangulo parati na parte ng kampanya kontra iligal na droga ang internal cleansing sa gobyerno at kasama na d’yan ang sa kapulisan.” (The President keeps telling us that part of his campaign against illegal drugs is the internal cleansing in government and this includes the police force.)
Go was a confidant of the President when the latter was then the Davao city mayor. He served briefly as special assistant to the President before becoming a senator.
“Malaki ang tiwala namin sa pulis dahil sila ang nasa frontline ng laban na ito. Ito ang rason kung bakit importante na malinis at panagutin rin ang mga pulis na hindi gumaganap ng kanilang tungkulin, or worse, ay sangkot sa iligal na droga. Kung hindi po natin pananagutin ang mga opisyales ng PNP na mapapatunayang may ginawang mali, mawawala po ang kredibilidad nila sa tao at ang tiwala na ibinibigay sa kanila ng Pangulo,” he said.
(We trust the police because they are in the frontline of this fight. This is the reason why it’s important that the police force be kept clean and policemen be held liable for neglecting their duties, or worse, being involved in illegal drugs. If erring policemen are not held accountable, their credibility with the public is lost, along with the trust given them by the President.)
Go said that the public supports the war against illegal drugs because they want their lives and property secure.
It is important that the people know who should be held liable, he added. “Kailangan walang palampasin para maitigil talaga ang paglaganap ng iligal na droga sa bansa.” (No one should be spared so that the flow of illegal drugs into the country is stopped.)
“We gave our trust to the officials of the PNP and that includes General Albayalde. They know that together with the trust given to them is the responsibility to clear their names and hold themselves and their ranks accountable for any accusation of wrongdoing. This is part of their duty to restore the integrity of their institution and fulfill their mandate to serve and protect the Filipino people,” Go said.