Albayalde backs Bato in blasting Reuters report on druggies’ execution

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National Capital Region Police Office Chief Oscar Albayalde has backed Philippine National Police Chief Ronald dela Rosa in calling the Reuters report that claimed policemen executed three drug suspects during an anti-narcotics raid in Tondo last October as “very biased.”

“The Chief PNP has the right word when he said the report was very biased… The report should be fair…,” Albayalde told reporters during his inspection of checkpoint operations of Pasig policemen who were using body cameras on Thursday morning, Nov. 30.

“The video is old. It has been answered already. It’s recycled. If we want to hide what happened there, most probably we could have deleted the video already more than a month (ago). If we want to hide something there, the police should have kept the portion, or hid it so nobody could investigate about it. And yet, the footage is still there. Our police did not do anything to it,” Albayalde said, when asked if it was the first time the video surfaced.

Albayalde noted that the incident happened last Oct 11, a day after President Duterte barred the PNP from performing illegal drugs operations.

“The video footage is all splices. And the ones they say the camera has been turned (to face the wall) is very far from the crime scene,  and no one witnessed the actual shootout,” he said.

Albayalde stood by the report of the Manila Police District which said the shooting was a legitimate operation.

“Accordingly, that’s a legitimate operation; there were firearms recovered and there were Barangay officers who will attest it was a legitimate operation,” he added.

The Reuters report claimed that the three men were executed, contrary to police version that the trio were shot in self-defense during the drug raid in Barangay 19, Tondo, Manila.

The raiders, the Reuters report showed, were not undercover policemen since some of them wore bulletproof vests and carried rifles. One of the police officers also turned the camera to face the wall.

Albayalde said the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) is currently investigating the case. So far IAS has not found any irregularity.

“They are the right agency. If it were us, nobody would believe. They might say we are whitewashing it. IAS is the right agency because it is independent,” he added.

The officers involved in the incident are currently under investigation. They belonged to a team of eight or nine raiders.

“The MPD are also investigating…the men are still with the MPD, but no longer with the station,” he said. –