Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said it was President Duterte who told him that there would be no administrative case against Albayalde.
Boy Santos/File
No administrative raps vs Albayalde – DILG chief
Romina Cabrera (The Philippine Star) - November 5, 2019 - 12:00am

Manila, Phillipines — No administrative charges would be filed against former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief general Oscar Albayalde since there is no evidence directly linking him to the so-called “ninja cops” or policemen who allegedly sold illegal drugs seized in Pampanga in 2013, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año disclosed yesterday.

Año said it was President Duterte who told him that there would be no administrative case against Albayalde.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) submitted its report following the investigation of Albayalde and the 13 alleged ninja cops last week.

This is contrary to the findings of the Senate that found Albayalde liable for the anti-illegal drug operation when he was still Pampanga provincial director and that he led a “monumental cover-up” in the raid.

Albayalde is set to officially retire on Nov. 8, even as he already relinquished his post and went on non-duty status last month.

Año said Duterte will await the findings of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on the criminal complaint filed against the former police chief.

“Ang sabi ni Pres, no admin case against him. Bahala na ombudsman and DOJ, for criminal. He will get the pension, walang problema,” Año told The STAR.

Año added that the DILG also used the Senate report and even invited the resource persons, including former generals who testified against Albayalde, in their investigation.

He said the reports of the DILG and the Senate are not conflicting, but have different appreciation of the evidence at hand.

“The President stated that he will not choose the Senate investigation result but the result of the review made by Napolcom (National Police Commission) and DILG,” Año added.

The DILG chief noted that Albayalde could have been held liable for command responsibility, but this finding is considered “moot and academic” as he has already relinquished his post as PNP chief.

President Duterte appointed Lt. Gen. Archie Francis Gamboa as PNP officer-in-charge.

While the President thumbed down administrative cases against Albayalde, Año said that Duterte still wants to dismiss the policemen allegedly involved in the ninja cop operations.

There were a total of 13 policemen, aside from Albayalde, implicated in the issue.

Año added the President gave a deadline for their dismissal.

In terms of Albayalde’s successor, Año said Duterte has yet to decide on the next PNP chief to head the 190,000-strong national police force.

“He is taking time to decide,” he added, emphasizing Duterte wanted to think it over carefully.

The PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) had earlier filed criminal charges against Albayalde in connection with the missing P648 million worth of shabu seized by the alleged “ninja cops” in Pampanga in 2013.

CIDG officials submitted their amended complaint before the DOJ panel of prosecutors where aside from the 13 original policemen tagged as ninja cops, they also included Albayalde.

The 13 other respondents are police Supt. Col. Rodney Baloyo IV, Senior Insp. Joven de Guzman Jr., Senior Police Officer 1 Jules Maniago, SPO1 Donald Roque, SPO1 Ronald Santos, SPO1 Rommel Muñoz Vital, SPO1 Alcindor Tinio, SPO1 Dante Dizon, SPO1 Eligio Valeroso, Police Officer 3 Dindo Dizon, PO3 Gilbert de Vera, PO3 Romeo Guerrero Jr. and Police Officer 2 Anthony Lacsamana.

Public trust

The PNP also claimed that it is slowly gaining back the public’s trust weeks after Albayalde was forced to step down after he was implicated in the operations of so-called “ninja cops.”

“I am convinced, yes, slowly,” PNP OIC Lt. Gen. Archie Francis Gamboa said when asked if he thinks the police force has been able to regain the public trust following the ninja cops controversy.

Gamboa earlier said that he takes it as a challenge to win back both the public and President Duterte’s trust when he suddenly took the helm of the 190,000-strong police force.

Duterte himself expressed “utter disappointment” in the police force and gave officials a dressing down during a command conference in Malacañang last month.

Gamboa said it is up to the people on how they will view the findings of the DILG and if it could possibly help bring back the credibility of the police force.

“Let the people speak… about the things that are happening in the PNP,” he said in a briefing.

He assured the public that the PNP will respect the recommendations of the DILG and Napolcom against their former police chief.

He said that the police force has no influence over the findings as even he himself does not have the power to sit in Napolcom as ex-officio member during his stint as PNP OIC. Lt. Gen. Archie Francis Gamboa said when asked if he thinks the police force has been able to regain the public trust following the ninja cops controversy. Gamboa earlier said that he takes it as a challenge to win back both the public and President Duterte’s trust when he suddenly took the helm of the 190,000-strong police force.

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