DOJ begins reinvestigation on 2013 drug raid

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 16, 2019   •   273

DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra

The Department of Justice has begun reinvestigation of the 2013 Pampanga drug raid involving 13 cops allegedly involved in illegal drug recycling.

The 13 cops were ordered to attend the investigation and submit additional evidence.

DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra previously formed a three-member panel to reinvestigate the case where around 160 kilos of suspected illegal drugs were seized during an operation in Pampanga.

The Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG), meanwhile, requested the DOJ panel for more time to submit records about alleged drug lord Johnson Lee and Ding Wengkun.

The DOJ panel will give the PNP-CIDG five days to submit additional evidence and supplemental affidavit.

Meanwhile, PMaj. Rodney Baloyo was given a subpoena by the DOJ for not attending the preliminary investigation.

Baloyo is currently at New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa after the Senate cited him in contempt for allegedly lying during a hearing.

“We still issued subpoena to the said respondent and even wrote a letter to the Senate president asking permission for him to be allowed in this proceedings,” according to state prosecutor Senior Assistant Atty. Alexander Suarez. —AAC (with reports from April Cenedoza)

DOJ orders NBI to probe slay of suspended BuCor exec

Robie de Guzman   •   February 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into the killing of Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) legal division chief Atty. Frederic Anthony Santos.

In a directive issued on Wednesday, February 19, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra ordered and granted authority to NBI director Dante Gierran to conduct an investigation and case build-up against those behind the murder.

Santos was shot dead on Wednesday afternoon by unidentified gunmen while waiting to pick up his child in front of a school in Muntinlupa City, just a few meters away from the gate of the New Bilibid Prison.

He died instantly after sustaining gunshot wounds to head, neck and left arm based on an autopsy conducted by authorities.

Guevarra also ordered the NBI to file appropriate charges against persons found responsible for the crime if evidence warrants.

He also directed Gierran to submit to his office reports on the progress of the subject investigation and case build-up within 30 days.

In a separate statement, the DOJ chief said that Santos’ fatal shooting is still under investigation but is “very likely” connected to the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) issue.

Santos was suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman last September 2019 in relation to the alleged misapplication of the GCTA law and other time credits to prisoners.

He was supposed to return to work in March after serving six months of suspension.

Santos was among the resource persons in a Senate Investigation into the GCTA mess.

Irregularities in the GCTA law application grabbed headlines following reports on the possible early release of former mayor Antonio Sanchez, who was convicted for the rape and murder of Eileen Sarmenta and her companion, Allan Sanchez in 1993 after his sentence of 7-term Reclusion Perpetua was shortened.

The issue led to the revelations of the release of some heinous crime convicts and the anomalies in the BuCor. It also led to the dismissal of Nicanor Faeldon as BuCor chief, and President Duterte to set a deadline for the surrender of nearly 2,000 GCTA-freed convicts or be hunted down by police.

DOJ to charge Albayalde, ninja cops over 2013 drug raid in Pampanga

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 17, 2020

Former Philippine National Police chief, General Oscar Albayalde

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has recommended the filing of charges against former Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde and 12 so-called ninja cops over the 2013 drug raid in Pampanga.

The DOJ has found probable cause to indict Albayalde and 12 others for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

In a statement on Thursday (January 16), the DOJ maintained that the said personalities are in “violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for persuading, inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a violation of rules and regulations in connection with the official duties of the latter, and for causing any undue injury to any party, including the government.”

Albayalde, however, has been cleared of other charges, such as misappropriating confiscated drugs, falsifying public documents, and failure to prosecute police officers.

The 12 cops, on the other hand, will also be indicted for other charges including bribery, planting of evidence, as well as delay and bungling in the prosecution of drug cases.

The 12 police officers are Police Lt. Col. Rodney Raymundo Louie Juico Baloyo IV, Police Lt. Joven Bagnot De Guzman, Jr., Police Master Sgts. Jules Lacap Maniago, Donald Castro Roque, Ronald Bayas Santos, Rommel Muñoz Vital, Alcindor Mangiduyos Tinio, Eligio Dayos Valeroso, Dante Mercado Dizon; Police Staff Sgts. Dindo Singian Dizon, Gilbert Angeles De Vera, and Romeo Encarnacio Guerrero Jr.

The said officers were allegedly involved in seizing 200 kilos of illegal drugs during an anti-drug operation in Mexico, Pampanga in 2013.

In a statement, Albayalde welcomed the development and is confident that the truth will still prevail.

“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,” he said. “My conscience remains clear, and I am confident that the truth will bear me out in the end.”—AAC

78% of Filipinos believe there are ninja cops in the police force—SWS

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 8, 2020

The Fourth Quarter 2019 Social Weather Survey (SWS) found that 78% of Filipinos believe there are ninja cops in the police force.

The survey was conducted from December 13-16, 2019 where 1,200 adults, ages 18 years old and above, were interviewed nationwide.

“78% of Filipino adults believe the accusation that there are ‘ninja cops’ among members of the police force. Seven percent do not believe the accusation, while 15% are undecided about the matter,” the survey reads.

Meanwhile, 23% of Filipinos say there are very many ‘ninja cops’ in the police force, 44% somewhat many, 28% a little, and 3% almost none.

The term ‘ninja cops’ was first heard when 13 cops reportedly recycled illegal drugs confiscated from an operation in Mexico, Pampanga. The issue also tagged former PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde.

READ: PNP-CIDG includes Albayalde in ‘ninja cops’ complaint

The survery also found that 50% of Filipinos believe the accusation that former PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde is a protector of “ninja cops”, 13% do not believe, while 37% are undecided.—AAC

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