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Police chief admits failure of intelligence in journalist’s arrest but makes no apologies

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PHILIPPINE NATIONAL Police (PNP) Chief Director-General Oscar D. Albayalde. — PHILSTAR/MICHAEL VARCAS

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL Police (PNP) chief General Oscar D. Albayalde admitted there was a failure of intelligence after cops arrested a journalist whom they mistaken for a wanted person. “Basically, our law enforcers, ‘di naman kilala ‘yung (they don’t know the) subject… ‘yung complainant ‘yung mas nakakakilala (the complainant knows better). Ito (This) they based their actions on the informant,” said Mr. Albayalde in a press briefing at Camp Crame on Monday, June 10. The police arrested on Sunday Davao Today columnist Fidelina Valle, 61, at the Laguindingan International Airport after she was mistaken for a certain Elsa Renton, who was reportedly a member of a communist movement.

Mr. Albayalde said such “isolated” cases of an arrest with a mistaken identity have happened before, and that they are ready to assist Ms. Valle if she was “violated” or harmed by the police during the arrest and wants to lodge a complaint. “We are glad to assist her…kung meron man siyang (If she has a) complaint, we will not hesitate to file charges against our people,” the PNP chief said. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras