Duterte Says Police Chief to Maintain Post While Under Probe

Cecilia Yap

(Bloomberg) -- President Rodrigo Duterte said Philippine National Police Chief Oscar Albayalde will be given due process in an investigation over allegations he protected officers who recycled illegal drugs.

The Department of Interior and Local Government is looking into accusations that Albayalde intervened to prevent the dismissal of officers involved in a controversial 2013 drug raid in Pampanga, which happened when he was the province’s chief of police. The probe comes on the heels of a similar Senate inquiry. Albayalde has denied interfering in the case.

“He’s still there, otherwise I would have told him -- just go out,” Duterte said in his arrival speech in Davao City on Sunday, when asked if Albayalde still has his trust. “You have to hear before you condemn.”

Read: Duterte Rejects Millions of Dollars in Aid to Defend Drug War

The president said Albayalde must be given “due process and allow him time to answer, the right to be heard,” adding that he’ll await the Interior Department’s probe before deciding on the case “with finality.”

Duterte said he has yet to find a replacement for Albayalde, who is set to retire in November.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cecilia Yap in Manila at cyap19@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Jiyeun Lee, Matthew G. Miller

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