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
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the reported incidents on lambanog poisoning in Laguna and Quezon over the holidays, a government official said Friday.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed this is in a message to reporters.
The NBI was ordered to submit its findings immediately.
Around 16 people were killed and hundreds of others were hospitalized after ingesting lambanog or distilled coconut wine.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier revealed that five of the seven samples of lambanog tested positive for high levels of methanol.
The Department of Health (DOH) earlier said that lambanog poisoning is caused by residual methanol, which in high levels becomes highly toxic for humans.
Methanol is a naturally occurring substance present during the distilling process, that should be separated and removed thereafter, the DOH added.
The symptoms of methanol poisoning include vomiting, stomach pain and dimming eyesight.
The FDA has repeatedly issued warnings to lambanog brewers over its high methanol content, and urged the public to exercise extreme caution in purchasing and consuming the alcohol beverage.
It also advised the public to only buy lambanog brews that are registered with the FDA.
MANILA, Philippines — Department of Justice (DOJ) Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar will not be joining the team that will review the contract entered into by the government with Manila Water Company and Maynilad Water Services through state regulator Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) in 1997.
Villar on Friday (December 13) inhibited herself to dispel doubts and suspicions on the review to be conducted and the renegotiation of the government with the two water concessionaires.
DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he was the one who requested Villar to inhibit from the review although he deemed it unfair that the official is being subjected to allegations of conflict of interest.
“I requested Usec. Villar to inhibit herself to dispel suspicions that the DOJ contract review may not be completely objective due to an alleged possible conflict of interest. It’s unfair to Usec Villar who has always acted with professionality, but the circumstances call for it.,” Guevarra told reporters.
Guevarra reiterated that any lawyer who would look into the contract between the MWSS and the two water concessionaires would come to the same findings and conclusion — that the deal had been onerous for the government and the public.
Villar, a former Diwa Party-list representative and daughter of former national police chief Edgar Aglipay, is the wife of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar. Villar’s family runs Prime Water Infrastructure Corp. — /mbmf
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