Senate panel recommends filing of drug charges vs Albayalde | Inquirer News

Senate panel recommends filing of drug charges vs Albayalde

/ 06:24 PM October 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — After a series of investigations into the “ninja cops” scandal, a Senate joint panel has recommended the filing of drug charges against resigned Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Oscar Albayalde in connection with the controversial 2013 Pampanga drug sting.

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In the preliminary committee report on the probe being led by Senator Richard Gordon, the joint panel found that Albayalde may be liable for violating Section 27 (misappropriation) of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

“When you misappropriate the drugs (you confiscated) and you sell it, that’s life imprisonment. When you failed to account confiscated drugs, that’s punished under this law,” Gordon told reporters in a press conference at the Senate.

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Under the law, those convicted could face life imprisonment or a fine ranging from P500,000 to P10 million, in addition to “perpetual disqualification from any public office.”

However, Gordon reiterated that it is up to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Ombudsman to determine if or what charges would be filed against Albayalde moving forward.

“I outlined it, because the job of the prosecutor from the (Department of) Justice is to study it again, and see whether this evidence—and I’m pretty confident, kung kukunin ‘yung the way we studied it—he can file the case,” the senator said.

“We did our utmost best and we’re passing it onto the Secretary of Justice and the Ombudsman for whatever action they may deem appropriate,” he added.

Thirteen policemen, who were under Albayalde’s command as then Pampanga police director, were allegedly involved in pilfering millions worth of illegal drugs seized from a buy-bust operation in Mexico town in 2013.

The said cops, charged for allegedly pilfering and reselling the seized drugs from the 2013 drub sting, was led by Maj. Rodney Baloyo.

According to the report, Albayalde may have “profited from the sale of shabu by Baloyo and his men.”

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This stemmed from claims made by retired Police Gen. Rudy Lacadin during one of the marathon hearings on the scandal that Albayalde had supposedly told him that he (Albayalde) “got just a little” from that questionable operation.

Asked if there was clear evidence that Albayalde did profit from the recycling of drugs confiscated in the 2013 operation, Gordon said: “It’s hard to prove that because nakawala na yung drugs eh. ‘Di ba? Wala na ‘yung drugs eh.”

(It’s hard to prove because the drugs are already gone).

“Very hard to say he profited from it but by his actions as an officer, he should’ve known what to do, he should have from the very beginning investigated…then these guys would not have been able to go on,” he said.

“And he would be safe now. But he did not. And the fact that he did not [investigate] raises millions of eyebrows against him. Why would you not investigate your people?” he added.

The said report also recommended the filing of graft charges against Albayalde. /je

READ: Albayalde liable for graft over 2013 Pampanga drug ops — Gordon

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