Albayalde won't face admin raps over 'ninja cops' controversy

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 06 2019 08:50 AM | Updated as of Nov 06 2019 09:05 AM

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MANILA - Resigned Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde will not face any administrative charges over an anomalous 2013 drug raid in Pampanga, the National Police Commission said Wednesday.

"It’s hard to establish that he knew of the operation from the very start," said Rogelio Casurao, vice chairman and executive officer of Napolcom.

"We presented the facts that we were able to discover and submitted it to the Secretary of the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) and then from there they were able to come up with that finding that there is no basis to charge Albayalde administratively."

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee earlier recommended the filing of drug and graft charges against Albayalde and his former subordinates.

Albayalde was head of the Pampanga police when 13 of its officers were accused of pilfering some P648 million worth of shabu from a 2013 operation against a suspected Chinese drug lord.

Former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief Benjamin Magalong accused Albayalde of blocking the dismissal order against his former subordinates, which the former PNP chief denied.

Another retired police official, Rudy Lacadin, claimed Albayalde called him up to inquire about the case of the so-called "ninja cops" and allegedly admitted that he got some of the drug loot.

Lacadin, when questioned by Napolcom, said he took Albayalde's statement "for granted because it did not mean anything to him," according to Casurao.

"We asked him, 'you were in the middle of an investigation did you not find it very significant?' He said, 'I didn’t want to muddle my conclusions and findings with his statements because I might be misled,'" Casurao said.

Substantial evidence is needed to establish culpability in an administrative case, the Napolcom official said.

"Whatever is discussed in legislative investigation, people are thinking that is going to be the basis of any charge, which is a wrong way of understanding what legislative investigations are," he said.

"We must not lose sight of the fact that what is intended to be achieved in legislative investigation is to improve our laws. These are 2 different things that should differentiate the kind of evidence that is necessary in administrative investigation and in aid of legislation."

Albayalde, who stepped down last month, will receive his terminal benefits when he retires on Nov. 8, according to Casurao.

"But as for the pension, subject to the outcome of the cases that might be filed against him," he said.

The Department of Justice is reinvestigating the case against the Pampanga policemen, while the CIDG has filed a complaint against the "ninja cops" and Albayalde.