Guevarra vows to give Albayalde ‘fair shake’ in ninja cops probe

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Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday vowed to give former Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde an impartial investigation in connection with string of charges linking him to alleged sale of recycled drugs.

Guevarra gave this statement when asked to comment on President Duterte’s remark virtually absolving Albayalde from any involvement from the so-called ‘ninja cops’ controversy.

“In the DOJ we just go by evidence before us. If there is strong evidence regardless of who he is then we file the information in court. If the evidence is thin arising from hearsay, and uncorroborated, then we disregard and we normally dismiss the case against that particular person, “Guevarra said.

The string of charges filed against Albayalde and several other police officers implicated in the alleged recycling of illegal drugs are now deemed submitted for resolution.

Albayalde maintained his innocence over the accusations stressing the complaint lodged against him by the PNP failed to specify any specific act that he supposedly violated.

“None of the allegations…point to any specific act which I supposedly committed that amounts to a crime or any element thereof. Indeed the complainant charges me only of supposed knowledge of–i.e. that I was “aware of” or “informed” of the anti-drug operation–but never participation in, the incident in question,”Albayalde said in his rejoinder.

“At the time I made the special report, I had no reason to doubt the truthfulness of Police Superintendent Baloyo’s account of the events,based on the presumption that official duty has been regularly performed, and the fact that as then Acting Provincial Director, I had to rely to a reasonable extent on my subordinates and in their good faith in preparing official documents,” he continued.

In an amended complaint, the PNP charged Albayalde with graft, qualified bribery, falsification of public documents, dereliction of duty, and violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.

Albayalde was impleaded in the complaint which was previously filed by the PNP against 13 police officers before the DOJ. He is now first on the list of respondents.

Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Q. Orsos, PNP/CIDG Legal Division Chief previously said that probers used as basis testimonial evidence from witnesses, and the report of the Senate which extensively investigated the controversy, in filing the complaint against Albayalde.

“Mga lumang ebidensya at yung transcript sa Senate. Totality of the evidence shows that he is probably liable. Yung probability lang,” he said when asked about the police’s basis in filing the amended complaint against the former PNP chief.

It was learned that the PNP-CIDG presented new witnesses, including barangay officials from Mexico town in Pampanga.

During the Senate inquiry, Albayalde was also accused by then PNP-CIDG chief Benjamin Magalong that he sought to defer the dismissal order against his former subordinates.

The former PNP chief relinquished his post ahead of his retirement last November 8.#

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