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

Marje Pelayo   •   September 20, 2019   •   894

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)

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

Baguio LGU mulls raps vs judge who allegedly interfered in drunk taxi driver’s arrest

Robie de Guzman   •   January 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The city government of Baguio on Friday said it is mulling over the possibility of filing administrative charges against a local judge who allegedly interfered in the arrest of a drunk taxi driver for purportedly attacking a police officer.

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong said they are studying lodging complaints against the judge, identified as Judge Roberto Mabalot of the Municipal Trial Court, Benguet Branch 1.

Magalong said a report forwarded to him by the Baguio City Police showed that Mabalot allegedly intimidated and shouted at police officers on duty to secure the immediate release of the taxi driver, identified as Jone Buclay.

“According sa report na binigay sa akin ng ating City Director na si Col. Allen Co, talagang nakialam si Judge Mabalot, in fact he acted like a private lawyer,” he said.

“The way it was explained to me, very intimidating siya and outright nailabas niya agad ung lasing na driver at naiparelease pa niya yung taxi,” he added.

On Tuesday, December 31, 2019, an internet user posted a dashcam video showing a police officer, identified as Patrolman Julius Walang designated at the Baguio City Traffic Enforcement Unit, almost run over as he tried to stop a cab driver who committed a traffic violation.

Walang accosted the cabbie and tried to issue a citation ticket for causing traffic along Abanao Street in Baguio City. But instead of stopping, the taxi moved towards the police officer who had to cling onto the cab’s hood to prevent him from fleeing.

Buclay was later on brought to the police station and determined to be under the influence of alcohol.

During Buclay’s detention, police officers on duty claimed that Judge Mabalot suddenly entered the police station and scolded them for detaining the cab driver for a traffic violation that only carries a fine as penalty.

A CCTV footage also captured Judge Mabalot arriving at the police station around 9:25 in the morning and exiting with the taxi driver in tow several minutes later.

“He was lawyering for the accused and, of course, naintimidate po ung ating mga kapulisan doon and from his own words sabi niya ay ‘fine’ lang kasi ang aanuhin,” Baguio City Police director Col. Allen Rae Co said.

“Ipinakita po ng ating kapulisan sa kanya yung positive result po nung alcohol breath test at umamin po ung tao (taxi driver) mismo na nakainom siya,” he added.

It was later learned that Buclay works for a taxi company allegedly operated by a relative of Judge Mabalot.

In a message to Magalong, the judge insists that he did not interfere with the case, and that he only acted on a request he received to check up on the taxi driver for an alleged violation of reckless driving.

“I declare that I did not at all interfere. The police will confirm this fact,” he said, adding that he only told cops that they cannot detain the driver as the penalty for reckless driving is only a fine.

He, however, did not state in his message on whether he was aware that the taxi driver had tried to run over a traffic law enforcer.

The Supreme Court’s Office of the Court Administrator (OCA), which supervises all judges and court personnel in the country, earlier said it is now checking the case.

“We would like to get all available information before we require the concerned judge to comment,” Supreme Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said.

Police said it will file multiple complaints against the taxi driver, including direct assault upon an agent of authority, resisting arrest and attempted homicide. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Grace Doctolero)

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