MANILA - Sen. Richard Gordon on Saturday said he is confident his colleagues in the Senate would back findings of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee on the so-called "ninja cops," or officers who recycled seized narcotics.
Gordon, the panel chair, earlier released a draft report recommending the filing of drug and graft charges against former police chief Oscar Albayalde and 13 policemen who allegedly profited from the reselling of confiscated illegal drugs in 2013.
"Preliminary major report na ito. Dadaan pa ito sa Senado, magdedebate pa kami doon although sinabi na ni Senate President [Vicente] Sotto na suportado niya pati si Sen. [Franklin] Drilon, sila Ping Lacson nag text sila sa akin natutuwa sila sa nangyari," Gordon said.
(This is a preliminary major report that will be debated in the Senate although Senate President Sotto said he supports this, even Drilon and Ping Lacson... they texted me and were happy with this development.)
The preliminary report needs to be signed by at least 11 members of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee and at least 5 members of the Senate Justice Committee before it can be discussed by the legislative chamber in plenary.
"Hindi pa tayo tapos doon (GCTA) babalikan pa namin yan pati dito sa ninja cops hindi pa tapos," he said, referring to the controversial good conduct time allowance policy that grants early release on prisoners based on good behavior.
(We are not yet done with that (GCTA) even the ninja cops issue is not yet over.
The panel's GCTA investigation had eventually led to the inquiry into alleged ninja cops.
NOT YET OVER
Gordon said the Senate panel is still waiting for other records and if possible, the appearance of Korean Johnson Lee, the subject of the drug buy-bust that involved Albayalde's men.
Senate investigations earlier revealed that the "ninja cops" presented a different suspect, Chinese national Ding Wen Kung, while Lee allegedly fled abroad.
Authorities are still trying to locate Ronald Santos, one of the alleged ninja cops who has yet to appear at the panel's inquiry, Gordon said.
"This is the first time, and I'm not proud of it nalulungkot pa nga ako, na natamaan pa si Gen. Albayalde dahil chief PNP siya, ngayon lang nangyari na nagresign, bumagsak talaga," Gordon said.
(This is the first time, and I’m not proud of it, I’m even sad that Gen. Albayalde was dragged into this because he’s the PNP chief, it’s the first time that this happened, that it led to his downfall.)
Albayalde stepped down Monday as the country's police chief just days ahead of his retirement on November 8. He said this would pave the way for the appointment of his replacement by the president. Police Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa was appointed as officer-in-charge of the PNP.
Gordon said it would not be necessary to invite Albayalde again to succeeding hearings into the ninja cops controversy.
"If he wants to appear he can appear but like I said 'yung huling-huling hearing namin Albayalde Day na 'yun (our last hearing was Albayalde Day)," he said.
"I have no doubt malakas 'yung ebidensiya. I have no doubt na dapat may mananagot diyan at ang mananagot diyan sina General Albayalde saka yung mga tauhan niya," Gordon said.
Three former police officials had tagged Albayalde in the controversy, alleging he tried to protect his men and even admitted to taking some of the loot himself.
The Senate panel's draft report, once adopted, will be submitted to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of the Ombudsman to follow through on the recommended filing of charges.
"I hope pag-aralan nilang maigi, mag-ingat dahil there will be national disappointment kung ang mangyayari ay makakalusot 'yang mga 'yan," he said.
(I hope they study this thoroughly and carefully because there will be national disappointment if these men go unpunished.)