(OCTOBER 18, 2019) — The Senate blue ribbon committee on Friday recommended filing a case against retiring Police Gen. Oscar Albayalde for violating the Anti-Graft and Practices Act in connection with his involvement in the controversial drug raid in Pampanga six years ago.
Committee chairman Richard Gordon said the embattled police officer—then the Pampanga police chief—must be held responsible for the actions of his men.
“By reason of his seniority, by reason of his moral superiority, his competence–hindi naman siya aabot ng general kung wala siyang alam. I think he is liable, very liable,” Gordon said in an interview.
But the senator leaves it up to the Ombudsman and Department of Justice if both will heed the results of the Senate investigation. Both are conducting investigations on the case.
Gordon, following the release of the committee report on the “ninja cops” issue, said Albayalde could be charged of violation of Section 3 (A) of the anti-graft law for calling then-Region 3 police director Aaron Aquino and former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) deputy chief Rudy Lacadin regarding the fate of the policemen involved in the drug operations.
During the Senate hearings, Aquino admitted that Albayalde called to talk him out of dismissing the erring policemen. It was also revealed that the resigned police chief called Lacadin and said he only “got a little” from the drug loot in the 2013 operation.
Aside from this, Albayalde and the 13 cops involved can also be charged with violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act for alleged misappropriation of drugs, when the so-called recycling took place.
Albayalde had repeatedly denied trying to influence the two police officers, saying he was merely asking for the status of the case.
But Gordon doubts his alibi.
“Imposibleng hindi niya alam. Sa November 23 report niya, alam niya e. Sabi niya achievement ‘yan,” the senator said. “He’s the most superior. Sino ba ang in-charge sa Pampanga? Kanino bang tao si Baloyo?”
He was referring to ex-Pampanga intelligence chief Rodney Baloyo, who spearheaded the said drug raid.
However, Gordon admitted there was no hard evidence on Albayalde benefiting from the seized drugs, but the committee in a string of hearings proved that the cops did not follow the chain of custody or the proper handling of evidence.
This was the reason why 160 kilos of seized drugs went missing in the investigation of the then-CIDG chief Benjamin Magalong on the operations..
Albayalde nor his camp has not yet commented on the issue as of posting.
At least 11 signatures are needed for the Senate to adopt the committee report. (Randell Ritumalta/JMF)
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