MANILA - Sen. Richard Gordon said Thursday the Senate investigation into "ninja cops" gathered evidence that may hold Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police Gen. Oscar Albayalde liable.
"I think we have. When you look at the definition of circumstantial evidence you, can put together all these facts that formed a conclusion because they are all connected," Gordon said in an interview on ANC's Headstart on Thursday.
"There are witnesses that says kinausap ako, there was money involved...I would advise Gen. Albayalde to get a very, very good lawyer," Gordon said.
Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte said he would await results of the Senate investigation as he was looking for enough proof before taking action on Albayalde. He later ordered the Department of the Interior and Local Government to undertake a probe.
The controversy broke just weeks before Albayalde's retirement in November.
Former PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief Benjamin Magalong and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino had accused Albayalde of intervening in the case of Pampanga police officers tagged in taking some 160 kilos of shabu worth P648 million that had been seized in a raid on alleged Chinese drug lord Johnson Lee.
Albayalde, then Pampanga police chief, was relieved in 2014 over the case.
On Wednesday's Senate hearing, former Central Luzon police chief Rudy Lacadin "dropped a bombshell" on Albayalde, saying he had admitted to getting a share in the loot.
"That's why it's so damaging. A general retired is telling a fellow PMA (Philippine Military Academy graduate) na tinawagan mo ako at sinabi mo 'yan (called me up and said this). Very damaging," said Gordon.
"When you take it together with other evidence, the approach to [Aaron] Aquino and the failure to follow the rules, failure to supervise it correctly, that is at the very least neglect of duty and at the most graft and corruption," Gordon said.
Gordon cited how implicating were Albayalde's calls to other then police officers on the case of his men to purportedly make sure they are not relieved.
"Albayalde's mistake is he keeps calling people. He called Aquino. But with respect to using the law to exculpate himself from the very beginning," Gordon said.
"He did not challenge his relief. He was removed for 7 months and he did not do anything about it and when he became chief PNP, alam mong there's a balakid in your record na tinanggal ka, dapat in-investigate na niya 'yan (you know there's a hindrance in your record that you should have been removed, he should have investigated that)," Gordon said.
Albayalde has maintained his innocence in the allegations and has rejected calls for his resignation ahead of his Nov. 8 retirement.
The alleged ninja cops who had been ordered dismissed were reassigned to Mindanao instead. After three years, the dismissal order against them was later reduced to a one-rank demotion.