MANILA - Sen. Richard Gordon on Thursday said PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde should be part of the reinvestigation into the controversial drug bust in Pampanga in which lawmen allegedly sold the drugs seized in the operation.
“I think there should be a complete investigation, including Gen. Albayalde because napakatindi ng allegations eh, over 200 kilos of drugs,” Gordon told reporters on the heels of Thursday’s Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing.
“Whether or not alam niya, it should include him,” he added.
The probe should be both in the administrative and criminal aspects, the Blue Ribbon Committee chairman said.
Albayalde, as Pampanga police chief, was relieved from duty following the questionable anti-narcotics operation of his men in Nov. 2013 in Mexico town.
The Pampanga cops, led by then Supt. Rodney Baloyo, allegedly made off with some 160 kilograms of shabu worth around P648 million at the time following an anti-drug operation on alleged Chinese drug lord Johnson Lee.
Baloyo’s team also allegedly set Lee free and presented another Chinese, identified in reports as Ding Wengkun, in exchange for P50 million.
Gordon said he remained disappointed with Albayalde’s responses, which, the senator said, failed to disprove the allegations against the police official.
“I was very disappointed. I told him he was my friend, but you dropped the ball here big time. There was no investigation. You were removed because you did something wrong, but you didn’t appeal," he said.
“He should come out and say, 'Ang ginawa out of line, out of whack.'”
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Aaron Aquino testified Tuesday that during his time as Central Luzon police chief, Albayalde, who was then Metro Manila’s top cop, called him in 2016 to seek updates on the case of the Pampanga cops.
Albayalde also allegedly asked him not to implement any decision on the cops’ motion for reconsideration on their dismissal from service.
But Albayalde maintained he did not ask Aquino “not to implement” the dismissal order against his men.
He insisted there was nothing wrong in calling Aquino to discuss the case, saying it is normal for a commanding officer to do so, saying the case was not influenced in any way despite his call.
The Blue Ribbon Committee will release its partial committee report next week. - Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News