By Genalyn Kabiling
An investigation in the alleged presence of ninja cops will be launched by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) as soon as the Senate concludes its inquiry on the matter, President Duterte said Tuesday.
The President promised to be fair and give the cops due process through an investigation by Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año before deciding on the fate of Philippine National Police chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde and other concerned cops.
Duterte made the remarks after Albayalde was implicated in the ninja cop controversy when he was still police chief in Pampanga during a Senate hearing.
“The most proper thing to do, which is in line with procedural due process, is to await for the closure of the investigation by the Senate and when it is forwarded to me since it is under — the police is under DILG, it’s a bureau under Secretary Año,” Duterte said in a press conference at the Manila airport before leaving for a trip to Russia.
“I will forward it to him, give him specific period to complete his investigation — not so short, not too long, but a period of time that is comfortable if he needs to call people. But all he has to do is to review. And if he needs to conduct altogether another investigation, he can do so,” he added.
He said letting the Senate complete its investigation on the alleged ninja cops was “in obedience to the separation of powers and respect for each others’ department.”
Duterte maintained that there must be enough evidence to prove the police involvement in irregularity before he decides to terminate any errant cop.
Asked about his view on Albayalde, Duterte said: “If it comes to a serious thing as dismissing a top official here and there, it must be for a good reason and there must be enough proof.”
Duterte noted that Albayalde was linked to the alleged ninja cops during his stint when he headed the Pampanga police. Albayalde was among the government officials present at the departure ceremony at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2.
Once he gets Año’s report, Duterte maintained that he could terminate any or all of the cops proven involved in anomalies.
“Walang sanction kasi ang Senate. But when I decide on the basis of the report of Secretary Año, I can dismiss, discharge, and terminate any and all of them. So hintayin ko ‘yan. But we will be fair,” he said.
Despite the alleged involvement of some cops in irregularities, Duterte maintained that he believes that the Philippine National Police (PNP) was “not that bad.”
“By and large, we have a very good PNP working for our country. Iyong scalawags diyan sa ‘yung ninja cops have been there in Manila, one or two in Davao, and everywhere,” he said.