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Former Philippines police chief faces drug charges


Oscar AlbayaldeImage copyright

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Mr Albayalde stepped down from his post over the allegations

The former head of the Philippines national police force is facing a criminal complaint in relation to the alleged resale of confiscated drugs.

General Oscar Albayalde stepped down last week amid allegations he had intervened to protect police officers involved in illegal drug trading.

In his role he led President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

Critics say thousands of alleged drug suspects have died in controversial police operations since 2016.

Gen Albayalde denies the charges, but said he welcomed the police investigation so that he could be given “due process”.

A Senate inquiry, held this month, recommended that Gen Albayalde and 13 police officers under his command be charged with drug and graft charges in relation to the alleged resale of confiscated narcotics in 2013.

The criminal complaint was filed on Monday by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG), the body tasked with investigating crimes committed by police.

The Department of Justice will now decide whether they want to prosecute the former police chief and the 13 others based on the charges filed.

Serving in his role since 2018, Gen Albayalde was the second national police chief to enforce the government’s controversial crackdown on drugs.

President Rodrigo Duterte launched the anti-narcotics campaign in 2016, to deal with a rampant drug problem in the country.

Human rights groups allege many of the killings in the operations are summary executions, carried out without giving the suspects a chance to defend themselves in a court of law.

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Media captionDuterte drug war: Manila’s brutal nightshift

In July, the UN Human Rights Council voted to set up an investigation into alleged crimes committed during the Philippine government’s war on drugs.

The resolution, which passed by a narrow margin, mandated a comprehensive written report into the human rights situation in the country.

It will focus on reports of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances.

The Philippine government opposed the resolution and branded it a “travesty”.

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