Gordon stands by sufficiency of senate probe as ‘clear proof’ of Albayalde’s involvement in 2013 drug case

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senator Richard Gordon said Monday that the Senate's investigation on the so-called "ninja cops" is a sufficient reference for President Rodrigo Duterte to decide on the fate of embattled Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde.

enator richard gordon questions  atty Fredric  Anthony Santos chief legal division of bucor during the Senate hearing on Good Conduct Time Allowance at Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officials were allegedly involved in a scheme in which good-behavior credits for the early release of prisoners could be bought for cash.looking on senate pres. vicento sotto III(photo by ali vicoy) (Photo by Ali Vicoy / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Duterte earlier said Albayalde should be given due process amid the controversy over the November 2013 anti-drug operation conducted by his former men in Pampanga.

He asked for a "clear proof" showing that the country's top cop is involved in illegal drug trafficking.

For Gordon, however, the Upper Chamber's probe had already showed the possible liability of Albayalde, although he said that he will still give the PNP chief a chance to explain further his side.

"I think we have enough information for him (Duterte) to make a decision, but again I want Gen. Albayalde to come forward to answer questions that need to be answered, para (so it will be) fair. 'Di naman tayo magko-conclude basta- basta (We will not make hasty conclusions," the Senate justice committee chairman told reporters in an interview over the phone.

"But I know that our investigations have been public, naririnig ng tao, wala kaming tinatago (these were heard by the public, we have been transparent). And the questions are pretty precise from the other senators...I think it's a very good investigation. In fact, everything is under oath, dapat siguro kinukuha ng Ombudsman ang sinabi doon para mafile-an na ng kaso 'yong mga dapat file-an (I think the Office of the Ombudsman should be obtaining by now the statements so that it could file the necessary charges to the people involved)," he also noted.


While he refused to discuss the Senate committee's recommendations about Albayalde, Gordon admitted believing that the PNP chief had an "involvement" in the irregular operation.

"Well, there are ways that you have been involved. One is by negligence, wala kang ginawa (you did not do anything about it); and second is by participation, involved ka talaga (that you are indeed involved)," he said.

He cited the testimonies of former police generals that "have come forward and clearly indicate that something happened and then it (the operation) was not sufficiently handled, it was not investigated".

Gordon said the justice panel has yet to craft its report on the "ninja cops" controversy as they plan to conduct one more hearing to address "unanswered" issues -- such as why Albayalde, as former Pampanga police director, failed to initiate any probe on the anomalous operation, or where the some 160 kilos of drugs and other pieces of evidence allegedly hoarded by his former subordinates went.

When pressed on Albayalde's possible liability, Gordon said, "negligence and possible knowledge of the . He was aware of it and never did anything about it except talk to Aquino."

Aside from hearing Albayalde's explanation, the justice panel is expected to reveal "additional evidence" related to the controversy, said Gordon.

'Name the generals'

Meanwhile, Gordon appealed to the Chief Executive to identify the "generals" whom he said are still playing with illegal drugs.

"Di ko alam kung anong nasa isip niya but certainly dapat malaman ng tao kung sino 'yon mga yon para makakuha ng testigo (I don't know what's on his mind but certainly the public should be informed who those people are so we can get witnesses against them)," Gordon said.

He clarified that while Albayalde was mentioned in the transcript of Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong's executive session testimonies last month, the PNP chief was not described as a "ninja cop."

"No, I hardly used ninja cops. I submitted to the President, we should let him determine kung anong klaseng krimen ang ginagawa nila (the kind of crimes that that they have committed)," Gordon said.