19 senators sign report vs Albayalde, 'ninja cops'
MANILA, Philippnes – Majority of the senators signed the committee report recommending the filing of criminal charges against resigned top cop Oscar Albayalde and the 13 "ninja cops" tagged in an anomalous anti-drug operations in 2013.
Senator Richard Gordon, the chairperson of the Senate justice and blue ribbon committees, filed Committee Report 17 on Tuesday, November 5, after the marathon hearings on the rogue cops.
Apart from Gordon, 17 members of the blue ribbon committee have signed the report, as well as Senator Nancy Binay who is part of the Senate committee on Constitutional amendments and revision of codes:
- Senator Sonny Angara - may amend
- Senator Panfilo Lacson
- Senator Grace Poe - may amend
- Senator Manny Pacquiao
- Senator Francis Tolentino
- Senator Sherwin Gatchalian
- Senator Bong Go
- Senator Cynthia Villar
- Senantor Imee Marcos
- Senator Risa Hontiveros - may interpellate
- Senator Aquilino Pimentel III - with reservations
- Senator Pia Cayetano
- Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr - may amend
- Senator Leila de Lima
- Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto - may amend
- Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri
- Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon
A total of 19 senators signed the report. A simple majority or 13 votes is needed for the report to be adopted by the Senate.
The Senate panels on justice, blue ribbon, and Constitutional amendments and revision of codes found that Albayalde and his men violated Republic Act (RA) No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
Gordon had also said that Albayalde was also guilty of violating RA No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act when he asked Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Aaron Aquino, who was then the head of Central Luzon police, not to implement the dismissal order against the 13 cops.
In the earlier version of the report, Gordon proposed the abolition of the Philippine National Police Academy, but this was struck from the final report. (READ: 'Spectacle of a grand cover-up': Senate hearing bares how 'ninja cops' remain in service)
The final panel report also recommended that the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) office of the Philippine National Police be transferred to the Office of the Deputy Obudsman on military and police affairs instead, for it to be independent when investigating cops' cases.
Gordon is scheduled to sponsor the report before senators on Wednesday, November 6.
The marathon hearings on drug recycling focused on the 2013 anomalous drug raid in Mexico, Pampanga. The team was led by former Pampanga anti-illegal drug operations task group chief Joven de Guzman Jr and former Pampanga intelligence chief Raymund Baloyo IV, along with 11 others:
- Master Sergeant Jules Maniago
- Master Sergeant Donald Roque
- Master Sergeant Ronald Bayas Santos
- Master Sergeant Rommel Vital
- Master Sergeant Alcindor Tinio
- Master Sergeant Dante Dizon
- Master Sergeant Eligio Valeroso
- Staff Sergeant Dindo Dizon
- Staff Sergeant Gilbert de Vera
- Staff Sergeant Romeo Guerrero
- Corporal Anthony Lacsamana
The group was supposed to go after Chinese drug lord Johnson Lee, but instead arrested another suspected drug dealer, Ding Wenkun, in the highly irregular drug operation that led to a PNP investigation.
The 13 cops were ordered dismissed, but this was later downgraded to a one-rank demotion. During the Senate hearings, it was learned that Albayalde had intervened in the dismissal of his former men.
Days after another retired police general implicated him in the 2013 drug operation, Albayalde resigned on October 14, ahead of his mandatory retirement on November 8. In his resignation letter, he denied involvement in the irregularities of the 2013 drug operation. He would still enjoy his retirement benefits as a 4-star general.
The issue of "ninja cops" resurfaced on September 19, when retired police general and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong bared in an executive session the involvement of the 13 "ninja cops" in the anomalous operation. Magalong said it was among the examples of drug recycling. – Rappler.com