MANILA – Former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde was included in the complaint filed against 13 Pampanga “ninja cops,” or policemen who allegedly resell illegal drugs seized from operations.
In an amended referral complaint filed by the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) before the Department of Justice on Monday, the respondents were charged with graft, qualified bribery, falsification of public documents, dereliction of duty, and violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
The CIDG also presented new witnesses, including barangay officials from Mexico town, while the result of the Senate investigation into the issue, which found the respondents liable for drug and graft charges, was also submitted.
Albayalde, a former Pampanga police chief, was charged along with 13 of his former subordinates as they allegedly made off with some P648 million worth of shabu from the said drug raid six years ago.
The “ninja cops,” led by then Superintendent Rodney Baloyo, allegedly took off with some 160 kilograms of shabu following a 2013 anti-drug operation on alleged Chinese drug lord Johnson Lee in Mexico, Pampanga.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, meanwhile, said that Malacañang will not yet pass judgment on Albayalde and will leave it to prosecutors to assess if he should be charged.
“Whatever the findings, the recommendation is up to them [the Senate]. But whether or not the cases will be filed and the nature of the case filed against them, will be the discretion of the prosecutors who will assess the evidence,” Panelo said.
“Whether they are guilty or not is up to the courts, assuming it passes the prosecutors’ level,” he added. “If there are charges, they should file it. There will be a trial in the courts if it passes the level of the one investigating in the prosecution department.”
Panelo said the President would still wait for the findings of the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) own probe into the 2013 ninja cops scandal involving Albayalde’s men.
“He will act on the recommendation of DILG secretary (Eduardo Año) on his investigation. He said he will not interfere with the Senate investigation and that he will wait for the DILG investigation since the PNP is under the DILG,” he said./PN