By Martin Sadongdong
The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday passed the responsibility of answering the issues hounding former top cop General Oscar Albayalde to his legal counsel.
PNP CHief Dir Gen. Oscar Albayalde speaks during a press confere
This, after the Senate justice and blue ribbon committees recommended the filing of charges against Albayalde in connection with his alleged involvement in a supposed anomalous anti-drug operation in Pampanga in 2013 involving a certain Johnson Lee, an alleged Chinese drug lord, who was later freed in exchange of some P50 million.
“Ipinauubaya na ng PNP sa abogado ni Police General Albayalde ang magpahayag ng kanilang susunod na hakbang (The PNP lets the lawyer of Police General Albayalde to announce their next move),” Police Brigadier General Bernard Banac, PNP spokesperson, told the Manila Bulletin.
Last week, Albayalde was seen talking to his province mate, veteran lawyer and former solicitor general Estelito Mendoza to seek legal guidance in the filing of charges against former generals who dragged his name in the “ninja cops” issue, which is the subject of investigation by the Senate.
Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of the two committees, reportedly said that Albayalde was equally “guilty” with 13 of his former subordinates who tampered documents and evidence in the November 29, 2013 operation in Mexico, Pampanga.
Some 160 kilos of crystal meth, or shabu, were allegedly recycled by the anti-drug unit. Albayalde also allegedly tried to intervene in the dismissal of the so-called ninja cops.
The committees reportedly recommended the filing of cases against Albayalde for violation of Section 3 of the Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act primarily for supposedly blocking the dismissal order against his subordinates.
Section 3 (a) of the RA 3019 considers as a corrupt practice “persuading, inducing, or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a violation of rules and regulations duly promulgated by competent authority or an offense in connection with the official duties of the latter.”
The Senate committees also reportedly found Albayalde liable for “dereliction of duties” and violating Article 208 of the Revised Penal Code, which prohibits public officers from “instituting prosecution for the punishment of violators of the law, or [tolerating] the commission of offenses.”
The panel also reportedly recommended that Albayalde be criminally charged for supposedly failing to account the illegal drugs and other pieces of evidence seized from the 2013 drug bust.
Albayalde and his men were also recommended to be charged for causing “injury” to the State, Johnson Lee, and the certain Ding Wen Kun who was arrested in replacement of Lee.