Palace: Ex-PNP chief’s fate up to prosecutors

By: Julie Aurelio - Inquirer.net October 21,2019 - 01:28 PM

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang will not yet pass judgment on former top cop Oscar Albayalde and will leave it to prosecutors to assess if he should be charged for the drug recycling case of his former subordinates.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said prosecutors would be the ones to determine if there is probable cause to also indict the resigned Philippine National Police chief in the case.

“Whatever the findings, the recommendation is up to them [the Senate]. But whether or not the cases will be filed and the nature of the case filed against them, will be the discretion of the prosecutors who will assess the evidence,” Panelo said in an interview over dzIQ.

He pointed out that “whether they are guilty or not is up to the courts, assuming it passes the prosecutors’ level.”

“If there are charges, they should file it. There will be a trial in the courts if it passes the level of the one investigating in the prosecution department,” Panelo said.

Malfeasance committed

He made the remarks after a Senate joint panel recommended the filing of illegal drugs and graft charges against Albayalde and 13 so-called ninja cops, who were his former subordinates when he was Pampanga provincial police director.

A preliminary report claimed that Albayalde allegedly committed malfeasance for intervening for his subordinates, who were supposed to be dismissed from the service but were only demoted.

Panelo said the President would still wait for the findings of the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) own probe into the 2013 ninja cops scandal involving Albayalde’s men.

“He will act on the recommendation of DILG secretary (Eduardo Año) on his investigation. He said he will not interfere with the Senate investigation and that he will wait for the DILG investigation since the PNP is under the DILG,” the Palace official said.

Last week, the President expressed his “utmost disappointment” with the reported involvement of policemen in the recycling of seized illegal drugs.

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In a speech at the Manila Hotel last Thursday, he said ninja cops were “gangsters” and warned them that he could beat them at being evil, since they do not have the monopoly of being evil.

“I think that’s a very stupid paradigm because I can be evil like you and more than if I want to be,” the President said last week.

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