Baloyo to be arraigned Friday for drug charges

Published March 10, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Jeffrey Damicog

Police Major Rodney Baloyo is set to be arraigned this week for charges concerning his alleged involvement in the anomalous 2013 anti-illegal drugs operations in Mexico, Pampanga.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Rodney Baloyo (PHOTO FROM SEN. RICHARD GORDON'S TWITTER ACCOUNT/ MANILA BULLETIN)
Police Lieutenant Colonel Rodney Baloyo (PHOTO FROM SEN. RICHARD GORDON’S TWITTER ACCOUNT/ MANILA BULLETIN)

“The arraignment will be held this Friday,” Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Alexander Suarez said on Tuesday (March 10).

Suarez said of the 12 accused in the case, only Baloyo will be arraigned before San Fernando Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 44.

“The other accused in the case were already arraigned last March 6,” said Suarez, who chaired the panel of prosecutors who conducted the preliminary investigation of the case.

Aside from Baloyo, the other accused in the case are current and dismissed officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP), namely, Joven Bagnot De Guzman Jr., Jules Lacap Maniago, Donald Castro Roque, Ronald Bayas Santos, Rommel Muñoz Vital, Alcindor Mangiduyos Tinio, Dindo Singian Dizon, Gilbert Angeles De Vera, Romeo Encarnacion Guerrero Jr., Eligio Dayos Valeroso, Dante Mercado Dizon.

They are facing before the RTC charges of violating Republic Act No. 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, Article XI, delay and bungling in the prosecution of drugs cases; and qualified bribery under the Revised Penal Code (RPC).

The case concerns 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.

In deciding to file charges against the respondents, the Department of Justice (DOJ) previously said: “The panel found that Baloyo, et al, 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.”

“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 said the respondents were also found to have “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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