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Lawyering for Albayalde? Panelo: Not really

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By Prince Golez

Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Salvador Panelo denied he was lawyering for General Oscar Albayalde, who stepped down as chief of the Philippine National Police Monday over the “ninja cop” controversy.

“Not really, because I’m being asked as a lawyer, my observation. That’s not lawyering; I’m giving an objective analysis or assessment, in fairness to all,” Panelo said in a media briefing.

Prior to this, the Palace spokesman questioned why charges have yet to be filed against Albayalde if sufficient evidence point to his involvement in the illegal drug trade.

“Three times mong inimbestigahan pagkatapos wala kang charges and then suddenly you’re telling people na involved ka.” according to him.

Panelo said the testimony of retired police general Rudy Lacadin, who claimed that Albayalde told him that he only got a small portion from the police raid in Mexico, Pampanga, was weak because he could not confirm whether Albayalde was joking about receiving money or not.

“Sa hukuman, hindi puwede ‘yun. ‘Pag ganiyan ang salita mo, wala na dismiss ang kaso mo. Kasi dapat dun, nung tinawagan po ako, seryoso at talagang pinipilit niya na ganito at sinabi pa nga ho nakatanggap siya ng pera. Mga ganun dapat, pero ‘yung sasabihin mo ‘hindi ko alam kung nagbibiro o hindi,’ ano ba namang klaseng testimonya ‘yun?” he also said.

The official added that the statement of former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief Benjamin Magalong, who accused the ex-top cop of being involved in the suspected drug recycling in 2013 Pampanga drug bust, was based on “hearsay.”

“Ang naririnig ko rin kasi, parang hearsay din, parang hindi personal knowledge eh, hindi rin papasok sa hukuman iyon. Iyon ang nagiging problema niyan,” he said.

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