The Senate on Tuesday authorized the Blue Ribbon and Justice committees to make public the information divulged by Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong during an executive session on the members of the Philippine National Police allegedly involved in drug recycling.
Senator Richard Gordon, chairperson of the Blue Ribbon panel, was sick and was not present at the plenary when the motion and the vote were made.
It was Senator Ronald Dela Rosa who made the motion. A total of 17 senators voted in favor.
“There has been speculation circulating around regarding the alleged involvement of the Chief PNP Police General Oscar Albayalde in the so-called ‘agaw-bato’ scheme,” Dela Rosa said.
“In fairness to General Albayalde...I would like to move for this body to allow or to authorize the Blue Ribbon committee to disclose the contents of the executive session that transpired during the last Senate committee hearing regarding GCTA anomaly,” he added.
He added that divulging the contents of the executive session would be fair to those being alluded to.
“I would like to have the records or the contents of that executive session be made available for those who are interested so that the truth shall prevail, not speculation,” Dela Rosa said.
Senate President Vicente Sotto agreed with Dela Rosa, saying there was much speculation coming out regarding the contents or what transpired during the executive session.
“He [Dela Rosa] is seeking the permission of the body to give the Blue Ribbon committee an authority to divulge what transpired in that executive session to once and for all remove cloud of doubt on anyone that has been named,” he said.
During the Senate hearing last week, Magalong, former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief, revealed that there were corrupt cops who keep confiscated illegal drugs to be sold or recycled later.
He divulged the names of some of those involved in the illegal activity during the executive session. The information given during executive sessions are considered confidential unless two-thirds of all senators agree to make it public.
Senator Richard Gordon welcomed the decision to make the information public.
“I thank my colleagues for giving such authority to the said committees. I was monitoring the session even while I was absent since I was advised to take a complete rest for a few days,” Gordon said in a press statement.
He said that shortly after the executive session was held, he came out with a tweet recommending that serious charges made during executive sessions, especially against high-ranking government officials or police officers, should be forwarded to the President.
“While we are not passing judgement, we want to make sure that the President is aware of the charges. If we are to clean up our system, not only in the BuCor but most definitely among higher PNP officials’ handling of drugs, we need to overhaul both systems ASAP,” he said. —LDF/BM, GMA News