Gordon vehement in denying Panelo’s accusation of politicizing senate ‘ninja cops’ probe

Published October 7, 2019, 6:25 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola 

Senator Richard Gordon on Monday denied that the Senate is politicizing its investigation on the alleged involvement of rogue Philippine National Police (PNP) members in illegal drug recycling.

Senator Richard Gordon during the Senate hearing on Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA)  (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Richard Gordon during the Senate hearing on Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA)

Gordon responded to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo’s opinion regarding the Senate’s legislative inquiry on the so-called “ninja cops” and their involvement in the drug trade.

He is the chairman of the Senate justice and blue ribbon committees conducting the probe.

“How can you accuse us, hindi naman kami magkakapartido (we are not even partymates)…There is no politics really involved here, ang gusto lang namin makuha ang katotohanan (we only wanted to ferret out the truth),” Gordon said in a phone interview with Senate reporters.

He also said the Senate is “obviously” not attacking President Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs, but instead will help the administration to rid the PNP of bad eggs.

“We should be invested in finding out that many of the police officers…are saying that there were some hanky panky in the case of the drug raid,” Gordon said, referring to the 2013 controversial drug bust conducted by PNP chief General Oscar Albayalde’s former subordinates in Pampanga.

“I think the President should know that,” he stressed.

He also refuted claims that senators are attempting to influence President Duterte’s choice for next PNP chief, despite the grilling of Albayalde, who is set to retire in November.

He said their probe has nothing to do with Albayalde’s possible appointment to the Cabinet after he steps down.

“Besides call ni Presidente ‘yan (that is the President’s call). And this is where Sal Panelo, my friend, got very wrong, na may pulitika sa Senado (that there is politics involved in the Senate probe),” Gordon said.

Senate President Vicente Sotto earlier slammed Panelo’s remarks against the chamber’s probe on the “ninja cops”.

Albayalde is in hot water over the November, 2013 anti-drug operation conducted by 13 of his men in Mexico, Pampanga against a certain Chinese drug lord.

He was Pampanga provincial director then.

The cops were accused of keeping at least 160 kilos of the confiscated shabu while declaring only 36 kilos. They were ordered dismissed from police service in 2014 until a 2017 order recommended instead their demotion of one rank.

Philippines Drug Enforcement Agency director-general Aaron Aquino, during the Senate hearings, said Albayalde called him in 2016 to ask him not to implement the dismissal order.

Albayalde insisted that he did not attempt to influence the dismissal ruling.