The Interior department investigating the case of resigned Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde has found no evidence to merit the filing of administrative charges against him, saying these would be moot and academic since he had already resigned.
At least 13 policemen assigned in Pampanga –dubbed the “ninja cops”—were under the control of Albayalde, then the Pampanga provincial director. The 13 were accused of reselling millions of pesos worth of illegal drugs taken from a drug kingpin in the town of Mexico in 2013.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano said in the case of administrative charges, the penalty would be removal from his position—which would be pointless since Albayalde has already quit.
On the other hand, he said, criminal charges would be up to the Office of the Ombudsman and the Department of Justice to decide.
The PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group has filed criminal complaint against Albayalde, the principal respondent, and 13 of his former men.
The charged sheet includes violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, bribery, falsification of documents, perjury, and dereliction of duty.
Año, meanwhile, said they have filed new administrative cases against the 13 “ninja cops,” four of whom were ordered dismissed from the service.
The cases ranges from grave misconduct, grave irregularity in the performance of duty, improper handling of the operations and failure to account the confiscated money amounting to P300,000.00.
Meanwhile, Albayalde said the complaint against him was “insufficient in form and substance” and lacked probable cause that would merit his appeal for the dismissal of his case.
He said the basis of his inclusion in the complaint, a “partial committee report” by the Senate committees that investigated the operation, “has not been signed or approved by a majority of all committee members as required by Senate rules.”
The document, he said, is “a mere scrap of paper that is unsigned, unverified, and unauthorized by the Senate’s own rules.”
Albayalde also denied that he had called Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief and former Central Luzon police chief Aaron Aquino and former CIDG official Rudy Lacadin to influence them regarding the administrative cases against the 13 so-called “ninja cops.”
Fifteen of the 17 members of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee signed the committee report which recommended the filing of graft and drug charges against Albayalde and the 13 “ninja cops” involved in the irregular drug raid in Mexico, Pampanga in November 2013.
The members of the Blue Ribbon Committee who signed the committee report are Committee chairperson Richard Gordon and Senators Sonny Angara, Pia Cayetano, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, Bong Go, Risa Hontiveros, Panfilo Lacson, Imee Marcos, Manny Pacquiao, Koko Pimentel, Grace Poe, Bong Revilla, Francis Tolentino, Cynthia Villar and Leila de Lima.
The committee’s ex-officio members who also signed the report were Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri.
The committee members who did not sign the report were Senators Manuel Lapid and Francis Pangilinan, who is out of the country.
Gordon was supposed to present the committee report on the Senate floor Tuesday, but instead reset it today.
While it was not proven that Albayalde directly benefited from the illegal drugs, Gordon, however, noted that the series of circumstances proved the former police chief had knowledge of the irregular drug transactions.
Gordon downplayed the denials of the ninja cops, describing their testimonies as a “comedy of lies.”
Albayalde on Wednesday asked the Department of Justice to dismiss the criminal charges filed against him.
In his 35-page counter-affidavit to the complaint filed by the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Albayalde said the amended complaint should be dismissed outright for being “baseless” and for violating his right to due process.
Albayalde also assailed the DOJ’s jurisdiction to reopen the case, saying the offenses being attributed against are cognizable by the Sandiganbayan.
The former PNP chief also questioned the filing of an amended complaint against him and his men considering the prior dismissal by the DOJ of the same complaint filed by the PNP-CIDG on May 12, 2014.
“As such, complainant cannot amend a complaint which is no longer subject of a preliminary investigation nor reopen an investigation which is already resolved and dismissed with finality,” Albayalde said.
The former PNP official was forced to step down from his post as PNP chief after testimony before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee linked him to the 2013 anti-illegal drug raid in Pampanga that resulted in the seizure of some 200 kilos of shabu by his men, who declared only 36 kilos.
The reopening the case was an offshoot of the Senate investigation on the implementation of the Good Conduct Time Allowance for convicted felons, which yielded information related to the 2013 illegal-drug trade by Albayalde’s men.