PNP-CIDG includes Albayalde in ‘ninja cops’ complaint

Robie de Guzman   •   October 21, 2019   •   183

FILE PHOTO: PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has included former PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde as a respondent in the criminal complaints in relation to the controversial 2013 Pampanga operations.

The PNP-CIDG on Monday filed an amendment to its original complaint to include Albayalde in the charges against Pampanga police officers who were tagged in the ‘ninja cops’ issue.

The amended complaint filed in the Department of Justice (DOJ) has added a case for violation of Section 92 of the Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, graft, qualified bribery, falsification of public documents and dereliction of duty.

When sought for comment, Albayalde said he welcomes his inclusion in the complaint.

“At least I will be accorded due process on this,” the former PNP chief told reporters.

Albayalde is the 14th respondent in the complaint against the team of police officers led by Major Rodney Baloyo who were accused of planting evidence and recycling of illegal drugs confiscated from an operation in Mexico, Pampanga.

Albayalde, who was then the head of Pampanga provincial police, was accused of intervening in the case of the said cops.  

The original charges against the 13 policemen were dismissed but the DOJ reopened the investigation following a Senate inquiry on the controversial operation.

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee in its report earlier recommended the filing of charges against Albayalde and 13 cops.

Albayalde last week relinquished his post as PNP chief amid the controversy and went on a non-duty status weeks before his supposed retirement on November 8. – RRD (with details from Correspondent April Cenedoza)

PNP to launch manhunt ops for suspects in slay of cop in Cebu City

Robie de Guzman   •   November 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday said a manhunt operation has been launched for the suspects behind the murder of a police official, who was shot dead in Cebu City on Thursday afternoon.

PNP Officer-in-charge Lieutenant General Archie Gamboa said he already directed the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to coordinate with the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) of Police Regional Office 7 as he vowed to “get to the bottom” of the slaying of Police Lieutenant Colonel Joie Yape, Jr.  

“Although there are many possibilities on what could be the motive behind the ambush, we do not want to theorize or make hasty conclusions, rather we will look at all these possibilities and narrow down the investigation based on evidence,” Gamboa said.

Yape, who was assigned at the PNP Internal Affairs Service as Intelligence Officer, was attacked by unidentified gunmen aboard a motorcycle around 5:35 p.m. while traversing Molave Street in Barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City.

He was rushed to a hospital but was declared dead on arrival. He sustained a gunshot wound in the head.

“I extend the sincerest condolences of the PNP office corps and rank-and-file to the orphaned family and colleagues of Police Colonel Yape even as we assure them that the ends of justice will be served,” Gamboa said.

Prior to his assignment to the PNP-IAS, Yape served as chief of the Cebu Provincial Intelligence Branch and formerly assigned in Calbayog City Intelligence Unit.

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Solons probe on missing P20M reward money in Batocabe slay case

Marje Pelayo   •   November 21, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – When AKO Bicol Party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe and his police escort PO3 Rolando Diaz were murdered on December 22, 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte offered P20 million reward for the capture of the assailants.

In addition, Batocabe’s colleagues in the House of Representatives (HOR) collectively gave P13 million, while the Albay Provincial Government sent out P2 million, making the overall amount of cash bounty to P35 million pesos.

But during the inquiry of the House Committee on Public Accounts on Wednesday (November 20), PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Dir. P/BGen. Joel Coronel revealed that only P13M from the said amount were handed to the CIDG and the Intelligence Group which they distributed to credible witnesses in the crime.

From the said amount, P6M was given to witness Emmanuel Judavar and to seven other witnesses who requested anonymity.

Two of them received P2M each, another two received P1M each, one witness received P500,000, and another two witnesses received P250,000 each.

But the CIDG couldn’t present a breakdown of the distribution of the P20M cash reward that the President provided.

Coronel said the money, which they believed was received by then PNP Chief now-retired General Oscar Albayalde, was not turned over to them.

“The records of the distribution and liquidation of which were submitted directly to the Office of the President and I do not have the record, it did not pass through the CIDG,” explained Coronel when asked by Senator Koko Pimentel as to what happened to the reward money.

Pimentel argued that the said amount must be liquidated because it came from the Office of the President, therefore, it is ‘tax money.’

In response to a text message from UNTV, Albayalde sternly denied that he accepted the missing reward money.

“Lahat iyan na kay CIDG at IG. Wala akong hinawakan na reward money! Huwag nilang hanapin sa akin yan! (They are with CIDG and IG. I did not accept any reward money! They shouldn’t ask me that),” he said in a text message.

AKO Bicol Party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. did not buy CIDG’s argument thus he said he is determined to push through with the investigation.

“We have a second hearing wherein former Chief PNP will be invited at ang tatlo pang (and the three other) witnesses na nakatanggap ng (who also received cash) bounty, at ang PD ng (as well as the Police Director of) Albay, Col Asueta to shed light on the P2-million,” Garbin said.

“Three suspects din sila (They are considered three of the suspects) and we have to confirm on them kung magkano talaga ang kanilang na-receive (how much they really received),” he added.

During the inquiry earlier today (November 21), lawmakers agreed that General Albayalde should also be subpoenaed and be cited in contempt should he refused to appear in the next hearing.

The recent retraction of the three suspects favoring former Daraga Albay Mayor Carlwyn Baldo dismayed the late Batocabe’s son Atty. Justin Batocabe.

The younger Batocabe suspected that money is working behind their backs.

“Iyan na nga po ang nakakabahala dyan. Nasulot (That’s what I was expecting. They were swayed to pull back),” he said.

“Ang balita sa akin ay nabayaran daw para bumaliktad at tinakot and at the same time binigyan ng abogado (I was informed that they were bribed to retract their statements and they were even provided with lawyers),” he said referring to the suspects. – MNP (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

PNP targets zero casualties in the upcoming 2019 SEA Games

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 21, 2019

The Philippine National Police (PNP) targets zero casualties in the upcoming 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games from November 30 to December 11.

Over 17,000 security personnel from various government agencies will be deployed during the event.

During the send-off ceremony in Camp Bagong Diwa on Thursday (November 21), PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa said in a press briefing that they have not monitored any threat for the SEA Games.

“Imminent [threat]? None. But the evaluation continues. We do not stop evaluating,” he said.

The task force created for the SEA Games includes the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Office of the Civil Defense, local government units (LGUs), and other government agencies.

Meanwhile, SEA Games Task Group Commander PBGen. Lyndon Lawas said they are coordinating with the Department Education (DepEd) for the suspension of classes in Metro Manila.

The deployment will begin on November 25 following the implementation of ‘full alert’ status in Metro Manila.

“We would like to minimize the effect of the travel of the delegates to and from the different destinations, from the billet area to the game sites,” he said.

There will be 530 events from 56 sports in the SEA Games where over 9,000 athletes will compete for the gold.—AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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