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Magalong schools a general

October 08, 2019 - Tuesday 4:10 AM by Jimmy Laking

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All eyes are on PNP head General Oscar Albayalde these days.

And if we get the drift, while overwhelming public opinion would think and say so, there is no reason for him to resign. He thinks so and says so.

This is despite established facts during the Senate hearing that he personally interceded for the shelving of an order to dismiss the 13 Pampanga policemen accused in recycling P648 million worth of crystal meth (shabu) in 2013.

In the Senate hearing, Baguio City Mayor and former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) director Benjamin Magalong said one of the 13 became a police chief while the rest were merely demoted as a result.

In defense, Albayalde questioned Magalong’s motive and timing. This is called argumentum ad hominem (“argument by attacking the man”) that sized up as an attempt to assail Magalong’s integrity. He asked: Why only now after all those years?

Elementary, General Albayalde. This is because something was not right as Mayor Magalong pointed out. Something was not right because while the PNP is undergoing the cleansing of its organization, the non-implementation of the dismissal order against the 13 policemen smacked of selective cleansing, again as Magalong pointed out in the manner of a maestro schooling a student.

In short, there was no closure to the case. And it is probably because of this reason that Magalong stepped up to point out the obvious. What is obvious as Magalong went through the chain of events is that for a fellow alumnus of the Philippine Military Academy, Albayalde in fact “dropped the ball” (Senator Gordon’s term) or erred many times in so far as the case of the 13 policemen is concerned. The first straw (which consisted of glaring violations in basic police investigation) was in the conduct of the 2013 raid and in the handling of the evidence. The last was in seeking the shelving of a dismissal order against the 13 policemen which spoke for itself.

It would be a game changer indeed if Albayalde would just resign with no ifs or buts.

The longer he says in office, the more demoralization he will engender within the rank and file. What point indeed is there in implementing good governance within the PNP or in cleaning its backyard when a few scalawags are allowed to run roughshod over its ideals and the institutions it is bound to protect and to serve.

This, I think, is Magalong’s point. His conscience cannot take it. Comparative-wise, Magalong is definitely cut from finer fabric and is consistency and integrity personified.

Other than his report on Mamasapano that found then President Benigno “PNoy” Aquino liable, Magalong’s other noteworthy investigation as CIDG chief was the revelation that a general close to then President PNoy and several other officials connived in the sale of P52 million worth of 1,000 AK-47 assault rifles to the rebel New People’s Army (NPA) from 2011 to 2013.

Magalong’s investigation showed that some of these firearms eventually turned up in the hands of NPA fighters captured or killed in Mindanao.

Again, the case is waiting for a closure considering that it is undergoing promulgation at the Sandiganbayan.

As to Magalong and if this were a numbers game, it is ironic that a lot of well-meaning police officers are stacking up behind him and not behind the one who is supposed to lead them. Checkmate.