Ex-CIDG chief Magalong squeals on top ranking police official involved in illegal drugs

Marje Pelayo   •   September 20, 2019   •   697

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong

MANILA, Philippines — Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong has given the lawmakers an important information regarding the issue on illegal drug recycling in the country.

The former chief of the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) has named one top ranking police official who he claims is involved in such unlawful practice.

“Noong iniimbestigahan ko iyan, may mga officials na nakita namin, (When we were investigating that issue, we discovered some officials involved) one way or the other, they have some involvement sa mga drug trade,” Magalong said.

When asked how high ranking the involved officials are, Magalong waved his hands and said they are still “in active service.”

According to Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chair Richard Gordon, he knew of the officials Magalong was referring to.

When asked about their positions in police service, Gordon touched his face with four fingers in response and agreed that the information was indeed alarming.

Senator Richard Gordon’s response when asked about the rank of the police official being linked to illegal drug recycling

Ako (ay) nagulat. Nagtinginan nga kaming tatlo (at nasabi) ‘Grabe naman ito’ (I was stunned. My colleagues and I were surprised. We all agreed it was too much),” Gordon said.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III added that aside from those in active service, there are also other former officials mentioned by Magalong.

Gordon wants to notify President Rodrigo Duterte of the said information at once through the President’s close aide Senator Bong Go.

Despite this development, Senator Imee Marcos for her part maintained that the names of the said officials should not be disclosed yet untill after a thorough investigation is conducted.

“They are very powerful people. They can escape. They can evade charges. They can even hit back,” the lady senator said.

Despite retirement from the police force, Magalong said he continuously receives reports about erring cops involved in illegal drugs which he immediately endorse to proper authorities.

“Ipino-forward ko sa mga SAF ang mga information ko. Nagpa-positive naman, (I forward the information to SAF. It later on turns out to be positive,)” Magalong concluded. — MNP (with details from Grace Casin)

Raps vs. Albayalde, 13 ninja cops submitted for resolution

Marje Pelayo   •   November 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has closed the trial on the charges filed against former Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde and 13 policemen tagged as ninja cops.

The case is now submitted for resolution and the DOJ panel will release the resolution once it finds probable cause to pursue with the charges.

Albayalde and 13 other cops are facing corruption charges and violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 due to an anomalous drug raid in Mexico, Pampanga in 2013 where the cops allegedly ‘recycled’ the confiscated illegal drugs.

Albayalde denied the allegations and claimed that the case should be dismissed.

He was the Provincial Director of Pampanga Police when the controversial anti-drug operations happened.

No basis to file administrative raps vs Albayalde over ‘ninja cops’ issue – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   November 6, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday said it has found no substantial evidence to file an administrative complaint against former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Oscar Albayalde.

This is in relation to the alleged anomalies in a 2013 drug raid conducted by 13 Pampanga police officers, tagged as “ninja cops” for allegedly pilfering and recycling part of the illegal drugs they confiscated during the operation.

Albayalde was the provincial police head when the controversial operation occurred.

“Albayalde is liable for command responsibility; that is why he was relieved as Pampanga Provincial Director in 2014,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.

“However, since he already relinquished his post as chief of PNP, he can no longer be relieved of his position at this time,” he added.

Albayalde relinquished his post and went on a non-duty status on Oct. 14 following allegations of his involvement in the anomalous raid.

He is set to retire from police service on Friday, Nov. 8.

The PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group included Albayalde as among the respondents in its amended referral complaint about the “ninja cops” issue.

Año said the cases against Albayalde will be up to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of the Ombudsman.

As to the 13 “ninja cops,” the DILG chief said new administrative charges will be filed in light of the new evidence gathered against them.

“The filing of new administrative charges against these Ninja cops is in light of new evidence gathered by the Joint DILG-Napolcom Review Committee as well as those that came out during the Senate Investigation,” Año said.

“The President has given his guidance to the DILG to pursue the administrative cases against the 13 Ninja cops which we have already started,” he added.

The DILG said the charges being pursued against these cops include serious irregularity in the performance of duty, dishonesty and grave misconduct.

These cops are also facing criminal charges before the DOJ.

“The charges to be filed against them will not be for the same offenses for which they were charged in the past. Moreover, the complaining witness this time will be the Napolcom which is vested with competent jurisdiction on the matter, hence, res judicata will not apply,” DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said in a statement.

Malaya said that the Joint Review Committee subpoenaed 21 persons composed of personalities who testified at the Senate.

The committee also reviewed documentary evidence consisting of the transcript of stenographic notes from the Senate hearings, as well as pertinent documents related to the 2013 Lakeshore incident.

Año also said that the National Police Commission has convened a Summary Hearing board to hear the charges against the alleged ninja cops.

He added that the summary dismissal proceedings against the respondents can be completed within 45 calendar days “without violating their right to due process.”

“Pending the resolution of their cases, the respondents will be placed under restrictive custody at Camp Crame,” he said.

PNP: Another Pampanga ‘ninja cop’ dismissed from service

Robie de Guzman   •   November 4, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday said it has dismissed another policeman linked to a controversial anti-narcotics raid in Pampanga in 2013.

PNP officer-in-charge (OIC) Lieutenant General Archie Gamboa said he ordered the dismissal of Lieutenant Joven de Guzman over a May 2019 anti-drug operation in Antipolo City, Rizal, which also involved six other police officers.

“I have ordered the dismissal from police service of Police Lieutenant Joven de Guzman of Antipolo City Police Station who led a team of seven PNP personnel that figured in a highly irregular activity in Antipolo City early this year and were recommended for dismissal by the Internal Affairs Service as a consequence of their actions,” Gamboa said in a press briefing in Camp Crame.

The PNP OIC said De Guzman was dismissed after he ordered a review of his case.

De Guzman was initially penalized with only a 59-day suspension because the less grave neglect of duty filed against him was not enough for him to be punished with dismissal from service.  

As part of due process, Gamboa said De Guzman can still appeal the dismissal order.

“Without his participation, the case went ahead. And it’s not even required by law that he will answer. So, ‘pag hindi siya sumagot, ibig sabihin, wala siyang bagong ebidensya na iprisinta,” he said.

The other six police officers involved in the Antipolo raid have already been removed from police service.

Three of these officers, as well as De Guzman were among the 13 police officers tagged as ‘ninja cops’ for allegedly recycling illegal drugs seized from an operation in Mexico town in Pampanga. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

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