Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III denied Tuesday (October 8) that politics played a role in the Senate hearings linking Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde to the so called “ninja cops” controversy.
Sotto said senators didn’t want to link Albayalde to the issue on purpose but his name only cropped up when the Senate blue ribbon and justice committees investigated former police general and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong to the hearing on the alleged anomalies within the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
“Ikinalulungkot kong sabihin na hindi totoo ‘yong mga sinabi niya (Albayalde). Accidental lang ‘yong kay Mayor Magalong. What you are hearing now is precisely what happened (during the executive session), there is nothing else, there is nothing to hide,” he said in a news forum.
In an executive session last month, Magalong revealed that Albayalde intervened to stop the dismissal of 13 police officers from Pampanga who were involved in a 2013 drug operation allegedly filled with anomalies.
Magalong later shared his testimony in a public hearing, with former Central Luzon regional police director and now Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Aaron Aquino collaborating his statement.
Albayalde earlier said the insinuation he tried to protect “ninja cops” may be linked to the selection of the next PNP chief. He is set to retire on November 8.
Sotto said Albayalde should not blame Magalong for the latest controversy he is facing.
“Kung may dapat sisihin, let’s say si Albayalde, Senado ang sisihin niya. ‘Yong blue ribbon, hindi si Mayor Magalong. Mayor Magalong was forced to say what happened during the investigation,” he said.
The Senate is set to hold another hearing on the issue Wednesday (October 9).