MANILA - Sen. Richard Gordon on Monday said he believes the Senate has gathered “enough information” for President Rodrigo Duterte to decide on the fate of Philippine National Police chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde, who has been linked to a group of errant cops.
Gordon said while the senators have already gathered many pieces of information to make a conclusion about Albayalde’s liability, the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee would like to conduct at least one more hearing on the matter.
“I think we have enough information for him (Duterte) to make a decision, but again I want Gen. Albayalde to come forward to answer questions,” he told reporters.
“Hindi naman tayo magko-conclude basta basta. Marami pa akong dapat alamin.”
(We won't jump into conclusions. We still have to uncover many things.)
Albayalde has been under fire after a Senate investigation revealed he asked a fellow police official not to implement the dismissal of his former subordinates who were accused of pilfering millions worth of shabu during a 2013 raid in Pampanga.
The revelation prompted calls for Albayalde to step down ahead of his Nov. 8 retirement.
Duterte, however, said he wants “clear proof” that would directly link Albayalde to the alleged errant cops’ illegal activity.
Albayalde, as Pampanga police chief, was relieved from duty following the allegedly questionable anti-narcotics operation of his men in Nov. 2013 in Mexico town.
The Pampanga cops, led by then Supt. Rodney Baloyo, allegedly made off with some 160 kilograms of shabu worth around P648 million at the time following an anti-drug operation on alleged Chinese drug lord Johnson Lee.
Baloyo’s team also allegedly set Lee free and presented another Chinese, identified in reports as Ding Wengkun, in exchange for P50 million.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Aaron Aquino testified last week that during his time as Central Luzon police chief, Albayalde, who was then Metro Manila’s top cop, called him in 2016 to seek updates on the case of the Pampanga cops.
Aquino also revealed that Albayalde asked him not to implement the dismissal order against Baloyo and his men.
Albayalde has maintained there was nothing wrong about his move to call Aquino. He has also rejected calls for his resignation.
Gordon said he wants to summon Albayalde to another hearing because the PNP chief was still unable to answer why he intervened in the cops’ case which raised questions of impropriety.