Albayalde wants transcript of Senate executive session with Magalong to be made public

Published October 4, 2019, 2:01 PM

by Rica Arevalo

By Martin Sadongdong

With his entire legacy as a police officer on the line, General Oscar Albayalde, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, admitted on Friday that he appealed to the Senate to release to the public the discussion, during executive session, between senators and former PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Director Benjamin Magalong that purportedly dragged his name into the giant mess involving the so-called “ninja cops”.

PNP CHIEF DIR GEN. Oscar Albayalde, speaks during a press conferecne about the recently concluded Barangay and SK Election 2018, at the PNP National Election Monitoring Center (NEMAC) at Camp Crame in Quezon City, May 15 2018. According to the PNP, the election is generally peaceful. (Mark Balmores)
Police General Oscar Albayalde, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief

While Senate President Vicente Sotto III already explained that what had been discussed last September 19 during the executive session between the senators and Magalong were the same things that were thrashed out in the ensuing Senate hearings, Albayalde believed otherwise.

“The first day that I appeared in the Senate, ano’ng ginawa ko (what did I do)? My first statement was to ask that the executive session be made public right? So probably from that executive session, we will know what’s going on,” he said in a television interview over CNN Philippines.

“I wrote [to] the Senate committee chairman to give me the copy [of the transcript] so you will see probably from there on what really is the motive here. After 13 years, why all of a sudden somebody remembered ‘Oh si Albayalde had administrative lapses,'” he added.

“Is it related to the GCTA (good conduct time allowance), really? You really think those things are connected? That’s what the senators told us. Remember, I was called there as a resource person for GCTA, not as an accused,” Albayalde continued.

During the said executive session, Magalong disclosed to the Senate justice and human rights committee the list of “high-ranking” police officials who have been allegedly involved in the recycling of confiscated illegal drugs.

The probe about ninja cops was just an offshoot of a major investigation on the chaos brought about by the unlawful release of heinous crime convicts due to the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law.

Included in the executive session were Magalong, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, committee head Senator Richard Gordon, Senators Panfilo Lacson and Ronald dela Rosa who are both former PNP chiefs, and Senator Bong Go.

There, Magalong had bared the names of 13 alleged “ninja cops” who supposedly recycled some 160 kilos of crystal meth during a raid in Pampanga in 2013.

All of them were members of the Pampanga provincial police’s anti-illegal drugs special operations task group under the command of Albayalde, who was then the Pampanga PNP director.

Albayalde had been sacked from his post for eight months due to command responsibility.

With all the controversies hounding his nearing retirement in November this year, Albayalde had a theory why the case in 2013 was brought up again after several years: politics within the PNP.

“I am retiring then who’s going to be the next PNP Chief? This is what we call politics probably in our organization,” he said.

“Ito ang isang paraan (This is one way) to destroy my reputation and integrity so kapag ako ay nag-endorse sa Presidente (if I endorse my successor to the President), that’s a kiss of death already,” he added.

“Sana isapubliko talaga ang laman ng executive session, hindi lang ‘yung sa (I wish the contents of the executive session would be made public, not just the discussion on) ninja cops. The whole thing. What else did they talk about during that time? Ito ang magki-clear sa lahat siguro (This would sort things out probably),” he continued.

The transcript of the executive session was already submitted to President Duterte, who earlier said that due process must be given to any high-ranking police official accussed of drug activities.

For his part, Magalong said he had no other intention but to tell the senators the things he unearthed in his investigation on ninja cops during his stint as the head of the powerful CIDG.

Magalong was invited by Gordon as a resource person in the GCTA probe in his capacity as a former CIDG director.

He had conducted a number of special operations which revealed that several high-profile inmates at the New Bilibid Prison continue to control the network of drugs in the country despite being incarcerated.