Albayalde shrugs off Noy’s criticism of ‘nanlaban’ deaths

MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) took exception to statements supposedly made by former president Benigno Aquino III wherein he expressed doubts about the sincerity of police reports on drug suspects who die in police operations and chided the institution for its failure to discipline erring personnel.

“I don’t think that’s true. In fact, even in the first year of the war on drugs, me mga nakukulong (there were those who were jailed). Cops are facing charges,” Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde told reporters in a press briefing when sought for comment on Aquino’s criticism.

“We cannot change the minds of these people. Let it be. We have been transparent all the time,” Albayalde added.

According to the PNP Internal Affairs Service, it has handled administrative cases of 3,275 personnel in anti-illegal drug operations since 2016.

Figures from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency showed 58 uniformed personnel were among the 569 government workers arrested in anti-drug operations from July 1, 2016 to July 31, 2018.

Some 267 personnel have been dismissed from service from law enforcement agencies for drug use for the same period while 95 have been dismissed for other drug-related offenses.

Meanwhile, Albayalde said it is not unlikely that well-off drug addicts have been shifting to cocaine, ecstasy and other narcotics as the government relentlessly cracks down on “shabu” (crystal meth) laboratories and street drug peddlers. Benjamin Pulta/