DOJ files charges vs Baloyo, 11 other ‘ninja cops’

Published February 6, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Jeffrey Damicog

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed criminal charges against Police Maj. Rodney Baloyo IV and 11 other so-called “ninja cops” over their alleged involvement in the questionable 2013 anti-illegal drugs operations in Mexico, Pampanga.

(MANILA BULLETIN)
(MANILA BULLETIN)

“Charges were filed last week in San Fernando, Pampanga,” a DOJ official privy to the case said.

The charges were filed after a panel of DOJ prosecutors, chaired by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Alexander Suarez, found probable cause to indict the 12 “ninja cops”.

Aside from Baloyo, those charged are P/Insp. Joven Bagnot De Guzman, Jr.; SPO1 (Senior Police Officer) Jules Lacap Maniago; SPOI Donald Castro Roque; SPO1 Ronald Bayas Santos; SPO1 Rommel Muñoz Vital; SPO1 Alcindor Mangiduyos Tinio; PO3 (Police Officer) Dindo Singian Dizon; PO3 Gilbert Angeles De Vera; PO3 Romeo Encarnacio Guerrero, Jr.; SPO1 Eligio Dayos Valeroso; and SPO1 Dante Mercado Dizon.

The 12 accused were also charged with qualified bribery under the Revised Penal Code.

Aside from these, Guerrero and Santos were charged for violating regulations issued by the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) regarding the chain of custody of evidence; falsification by a public officer against Baloyo, who made untruthful statements in his spot report and progress report regarding the operation; and false testimony and perjury in solemn affirmation against Santos and Guerrerro who made untruthful statements in their affidavit of arrest against Chinese Ding Wenkun.

In the meantime, the DOJ official said the panel was waiting for the results of the raffle that will determine which regional trial court (RTC) and municipal circuit trial court (MCTC) will handle the charges.

The panel was also waiting for a DOJ order which will determine if the panel or another set of prosecutors will handle the prosecution of the accused.

Aside from Suarez, the other panel members were Assistant State Prosecutors Josie Christina Dugay and Gino Paulo Santiago.

The panel conducted the re-investigation of the complaint that was filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG).

The case concerned the 2013 illegal drugs operations in Mexico, Pampanga where a team led by Baloyo was supposed to have arrested suspected foreign drug trader Johnson Lee.

Following the conduct of the preliminary investigation of the complaint, the panel found probable cause to indict the 12 policemen for violating Republic Act 9165, the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, particularly, Section 27, Article II for misappropriation, misapplication or failure to account for the confiscated, seized and/or surrendered dangerous drugs; Section 29, Article II, planting of evidence; and Section 92, Artiel XI, delay and bungling in the prosecution of drugs cases.

The 12 accused were also charged with qualified bribery under the Revised Penal Code.

Aside from these, Guerrero and Santos were charged for violating regulations issued by the Dangerous Drugs Board regarding the chain of custody of evidence; falsification by a public officer against Baloyo who made untruthful statements in his spot report and progress report regarding the operation; and false testimony and perjury in solemn affirmation against Santos and Guerrerro who made untruthful statements in their affidavit of arrest against Chinese Ding Wenkun.

The DOJ previously said the panel found that the 12 accused “misappropriated drugs when they declared that only 36.60 kg of shabu was seized during their operations, while the subsequent police investigation indicated that about two hundred kilos methamphetamine hydrochloride was actually recovered.”

“The group likewise declared that the cash they obtained from the operation to be only Three Hundred Thousand Pesos while contrary evidence indicated that said amount reached Ten Million Pesos,” the DOJ had also said.

“Some of the respondents were likewise found to have failed to declare and account for a Toyota Fortuner vehicle which was also seized during the operation,” it added.

The DOJ also pointed out that the panel also found that the respondents “illegally arrested one Ding Wenkun instead of Johnson Lee from whom they seized the drugs” and “implicated or imputed upon Wenkun the crime of illegal sale and possession of dangerous drugs despite their knowledge that it was Lee who should be charged therefor.”

 
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