MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday refused to comment on embattled former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde's fate as the latter grapples with allegations of corruption and drug involvement.
Duterte said he would instead let the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Justice decide on Albayalde's case as well as those of his men who have been tagged as "ninja" cops.
"I am putting my cards on Año's table and the Secretary of Justice," Duterte said in his speech, referring to Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año.
The President made the remark after a Senate panel recommended the filing of drug and graft charges against Albayalde and 13 of his men.
Senator Richard Gordon said the former top cop and his men were "guilty of malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance."
Malfeasance is committing an act that one had no legal right to perform. Misfeasance is the failure to exercise due care and diligence in the performance of an official duty. Nonfeasance is the refusal to perform an act which an officer is obliged to perform.
Duterte said he cannot just adopt the recommendation of the Senate panel since the body belongs to another branch of government.
"I cannot just adopt with the investigation of the Senate, because the Senate is not under me," he said.
Albayalde's men, led by Supt. Rodney Baloyo, sold at least 160 kilograms of shabu worth around P648 million they had seized in an anti-drug operation on alleged Chinese drug lord Johnson Lee in 2013, several police generals and officials earlier told the Senate panel.
The case of the "ninja cops" dragged on for over 3 years, with Albayalde supposedly intervening in favor of his men, according to testimonies of former PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief and now Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong, and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino.
Albayalde, who stepped down as head of the PNP earlier this month, has denied the allegations.