OCTOBER 10, 2019 — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has summoned for reinvestigation the 13 policemen allegedly involved in a controversial 2013 Pampanga buy-bust operation.
DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra last week said the case was up for “automatic review” and ordered for its reinvestigation earlier this week.
“We shall try to resolve in a month’s time, considering that this automatic review has been pending since 2017,” Guevarra said.
Expected to appear before the DOJ on Oct. 16 at 10:00am are PSUPT. Rodney Raymundo Louie Juico Baloyo IV; PINSP. Joven Bognot De Guzman Jr.; SPO1 Jules Lacap Maniago; SPO1 Donald Castro Roque; SPO1 Ronald Bayas Santos; SPO1 Rommel Muñoz Vital; SPO1 Alcindor Mangiduyos Tinio; SPO1 Eligio Dayos Valeroso; PO3 Dindo Singian Dizon; PO3 Gilbert Angeles De Vera; PO3 Encarnacion Guerrero Jr.; PO2 Anthony Loleng Lacsamana; and PO3 Dante M. Dizon.
In 2017, DOJ has dismissed complaints of violations of Sections 27 (misappropriation), 29 (planting), and 32 (custody and disposition) of the Dangerous Drugs Act filed against the Pampanga policemen in 2014.
The administrative charges of grave misconduct filed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) against the Pampanga policemen in 2013 have also been dismissed.
The 13 policemen, led by Baloyo, allegedly misdeclared the amount of shabu they seized in their Pampanga buy-bust operation in November 2013. Baloyo’s team said they only seized 36 kilos, but an investigation from the CIDG showed that the figure was supposedly around 200 kilos.
They also allegedly freed their suspect, Chinese national Johnson Lee, in exchange for P50 million. Instead, they allegedly presented to authorities a different Chinese national, a certain Ding Wengkun.
The Pampanga policemen, dubbed as “ninja cops,” were ordered dismissed from service in 2014.
At the Senate hearings on the controversy, former high ranking police officials accused Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde, then Pampanga police director, of interfering in behalf of the policemen.
According to Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency director general Aaron Aquino, then Central Luzon police chief, Albayalde supposedly asked Aquino not to implement the dismissal order against his men.
Albayalde’s alleged intervention resulted in only a one-rank demotion of the 13 policemen.
During Wedneday’s hearing, former deputy director CIDG Rudy Lacadin, said Albalyade, in a phone conversation, allegedly admitted that he had received a small part of the drug loot.
The country’s top cop, who is set to step down on Nov. 8 upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56, has maintained his innocence and has denied all the accusations. (Nikko Garcia/JMF)
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