The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Friday said it will leave to the country's judicial process the fate of retired Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Oscar Albayalde who was indicted for graft over the anti-drug raid in Pampanga in November 2013.
The DILG respects/welcomes (the Department of Justice) finding of probable cause against the former PNP Chief particularly on violation of Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act by persuading inducing or influencing a public official to perform an act constituting to violation of rules and regulation, Interior Secretary AAo told Philippine News Agency when sought for comment.
AAo said this is an opportunity for Albayalde to defend himself in a proper forum where he will be accorded due process and his constitutional rights will be observed.
At the same time, the DOJ finding does not contradict the DILG as probable cause merely engenders a well-founded belief that Albayalde is only probably guilty on the criminal side. Let justice takes its course, he said.
Meanwhile, the PNP said it respects the justice department's decision.
"Former PNP chief (Police General) Oscar Albayalde was given a fair chance to explain his side. Still, the DOJ panel found probable cause to indict him for graft. However, he remains innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt," PNP spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said in a statement.
Albayalde, meanwhile, said his conscience remains clear and he is ready to defend himself in court.
I welcome this development as the chance to once and for all clear my name in the proper forum. Finally, I will have my day in court. I am confident that the truth will bear me out in the end, he added.
On Thursday, state prosecutors who re-investigated the case found probable cause to charge Albayalde with violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
The panel anchored its findings on Albayalde's non-implementation of an order penalizing the police officers involved in the assailed drug operation.
Meanwhile, Supt. Rodney Raymundo Louie Juico Baloyo IV; Insp. Joven Bagnot De Guzman, Jr.; Senior Police Officer 1 Jules Lacap Maniago; SPO1 Donald Castro Roque; SPO1 Ronald Bayas Santos, SPO1 Rommel MuAoz Vital; SPO1 Alcindor Mangiduyos Tinio; PO3 Dindo Singian Dizon; PO3 Gilbert Angeles De Vera; PO3 Romeo Encarnacio Guerrero, Jr.; SPO1 Eligio Dayos Valeroso; and SPO1 Dante Mercado Dizon were indicted for offenses in violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002:
The panel also recommended the filing of charges against Albayalde and the 12 police officers for qualified bribery under the Revised Penal Code.
In the same resolution, the DOJ said the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group failed to provide enough evidence to show that Albayalde had a hand in the misappropriation of seized drugs in a 2013 raid.
The case involves the supposed cover-up during the November 2013 buy-bust involving Johnson Lee, owner of the house in Woodbridge Subdivision, Lakeshore View, Pampanga raided by 13 members of the Provincial Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operation Task Force of the Pampanga Provincial Police Office led by Baloyo.
The raid yielded a substantial amount of illegal drugs wherein involved cops allegedly pilfered some 160 kilos of shabu.
Source: Philippines News Agency