Albayalde now included in PNP's criminal complaint on 'ninja cops'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 21) — The Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) has recommended the inclusion of its resigned top boss Oscar Albayalde in a criminal complaint for his alleged involvement in the irregular Pampanga drug raid.

The PNP-CIDG on Monday forwarded its amended referral complaint to the Department of Justice. Albayalde is now first on the list, followed by the 13 so-called "ninja cops" allegedly involved in the 2013 raid.

It said Albayalde violated laws on the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, Qualified Bribery, Falsification of Public Documents and Perjury, and Dereliction of Duty against PNP officers and personnel.

The Department of Justice has reopened on October 16 the preliminary investigation on the Pampanga drug sting, where 13 of Albayalde's men allegedly kept 160 kilograms of shabu for themselves, got ₱50 million and new SUVs in exchange for the freedom of Chinese drug trafficker Johnson Lee.

"If there's a finding of probable cause, then makakasama siya (Albayalde) sa mga akusado and it will go to the trial court," DOJ spokesperson Markk Perete said. 

A DOJ prosecutor said Albayalde will be subpoenaed to face the complaint against him. He is expected to submit his counter affidavit before the DOJ on November 5.

The former PNP Chief welcomed his inclusion in the criminal complaint.

"At least I will be accorded due process now," he said in a message to reporters. 

Albayalde, who was Pampanga’s provincial director when the questionable drug raid happened, has denied any involvement in the controversial raid, saying he let his subordinates do the job since he thought it was a "simple" anti-drug operation. Albayalde also belied claims he tried to intervene in the case. He said these were all part of a conspiracy to discredit him weeks before his retirement from the police service.

Apart from the criminal complaint, the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) — the body tasked to administer and control the 190,000-strong police force — is now conducting a case review of the questionable raid, including Albayalde's possible liabilities. It expects to complete its investigation within the week.

CNN Philippines' Joyce Ilas contributed to this report.