Gordon dismayed by Ombudsman’s dismissal of raps vs Albayalde
Senator Richard Gordon has expressed dismay over the Ombudsman’s decision dismissing the graft charges against former Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde over the alleged mishandling of confiscated drugs during in a raid in Pampanga in 2013.
Gordon, who chairs the Senate Committee on Public Accountability of Public Officers and Investigation (Blue Ribbon), said the grounds of the case were deliberately misleading in order to merit dismissal from the court.
“Ang kalaban ng bayan ay si Juan Kulimbat na nagpapanggap bilang Customs examiner, mga Customs official, iyong mga tao na kasama sa PS-DBM, iyong mga tao na nagpapanggap na tagapangasiwa ng ating mga kulungan, mga nagpapanggap na tagapagtanggol ng ating bayan, o mga abogado na imbis na ipa-file—katulad noon sa nangyari kay General Albayalde, pinapa-file-an natin—pinag-resign na lang,” he said.
“Tapos iyong kanyang ayudante na kaklase niya, iyon ang nag-file ng kaso sa kanya. Ano ang resulta? dismissed po dahil wala raw respeto sa human rights ni Albayalde. Technical ang dismissal,” he added.
In a two-page order issued last Nov. 12, Ombudsman Samuel Martires dismissed the motion of reconsideration filed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) for “insufficient to establish proof of any unlawful act or omission.”
It may be recalled that Albayalde was slapped with drug and graft charges for allegedly intervening on behalf of the 13 rogue cops in the alleged bungled handling of seized drug contraband from a Pampanga raid in 2013.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has dismissed the case as the PNP-CIDG violated Albayalde's constitutional guaranteed right to be informed of the accusations against him, with the decision being affirmed by the Ombudsman later.
According to DOJ, evidence presented were rife with procedural lapses and failed to establish criminal liability of Albayalde and his role in the alleged misappropriation, misapplication, and failure to account for confiscated dangerous drugs.
Gordon, who also chairs the Senate justice and human rights committee, explained he is not persecuting Albayalde but mirroring the testimony of seven former police generals, including former CIDG chief and Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong.
“When we filed the case—we can call him, if you like; I can call [Magalong] on the phone—he said, ‘Naku, hao shiao iyang kasong iyan; hindi magpo-prosper,’” he pointed out in his manifestation before the Senate floor last Dec. 7.
“Ang sabi niya sa akin, ang nag-appoint noong imbestigador sa CIDG ay si General Albayalde. So, ang lumalabas, nagkaroon ng duda ang tao kaya na-dismiss iyong kaso ni Albayalde,” he added.
In a subsequent interview, Magalong shared Gordon’s disappointment over the dismissal of the charges vs Albayalde. He called the veteran lawmaker as a no-nonsense senator investigating in favor of uncovering the truth.
“[Gordon] was very thorough (during the Senate investigation). (He was) very straightforward, walang deception. Walang pagkukunwari. Hhe was really bent to determine the truth behind the involvement ni Albayalde sa nangyari sa Pampanga,” he said.
“It appears na maikita mo talaga na with all the irrelevant and illogical na mga sagot nila, makikita mo talaga na may itinatago at sila-sila mismo nagproprotektahan,” he added.
Gordon led the Senate investigation into the abuse of the good time conduct allowance (GCTA) inside the national penitentiary, selling it to inmates in exchange for a large sum of money.
The Senate investigation further led to the discovery of rogue cops, also known as “ninja cops,” who were implicated in selling of drugs seized from a buy-bust operations during a raid in Mexico, Pampanga in 2013.
Gordon recommended the filing of criminal and administrative charges Albayalde and 13 “ninja cops” tagged in the controversial drug operations in Pampanga in 2013. Albayalde, later on, opted for early retirement.
“Tama lang yung ginawa ni Senator Gordon doon, I really admire him for that. He is very straightforward. At nilakasan niya talaga ang kaniyang loob. I’m sure na nakatanggap siya ng mga threat pero binalewala niya dahil gusto lang niyang malaman ang katotohanan at talagang magdusa ang talagang may kasalanan,” Magalong said.