Stalled dismissal of ‘ninja cops’ questioned
MANILA, Philippines – Senators Franklin Drilon and Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday questioned the dismissal case of the 13 police officers involved in the questionable 2013 drug raid in Pampanga which was apparently overlooked for more than a year.
During the Senate Justice Committee hearing on the “ninja cops” issue, Drilon asked then-Central Luzon police director Brig. Gen. Raul Petrasanta why the dismissal order against the said police officers was not implemented immediately.
“The record in the previous testimony here has established the fact that on November 14, 2014 you signed the order dismissing Baloyo et. al,” Drilon told Petrasanta, referring to Maj. Rodney Baloyo who led the 2013 operation.
The police officers were charged for allegedly mishandling the evidence confiscated from the said operation.
Petrasanta, who was then the Central Luzon police director, was ordered by then PNP chief Alan Purisima to conduct his own investigation into the 2013 operation.
Petrasanta filed administrative and criminal cases against the police officers involved and ordered their dismissal.
The 13 officers were ordered relieved in 2014 after being found guilty of grave misconduct for failing to account for all evidence in the operation.
After filing a motion for reconsideration in 2016, however, they were merely demoted by one rank in 2017.
“After you signed that dismissal order, where did it go?” Drilon asked Petrasanta.
Petrasanta said he submitted the order to Camp Crame for the confirmation of the PNP chief.
“It took personnel from November 2014 to March 2016…to serve the dismissal order. The question is: who sat on this and why?” Drilon then asked.
“Served in 2016…the case folder slept somewhere. Because that would indicate that there was some unseen hand intervening so that binigyan muna siguro ng sleeping pill yung kaso para matulog,” he added.
“Somebody was, you know, somebody was powerful enough na ayaw niyo i-implement because of camaraderie or whatever reason,” he further said.
Lacson, meanwhile, took note of the motion for reconsideration (MR) filed by the 13 police officers collectively.
“Wala pong problema dun sa main case, dismissal nga eh, ang nagkaloko-loko ito dun sa MR,” he said.
“When I look at the case folder, pinayagan niyo ngang mag-file ng collective MR,” he added.
Lacson then asked Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra if filing a collective motion for reconsideration was allowed.
“Secretary Guevarra, di po ba kapag nag-file ng MR dapat individual? Kasi iba-iba yung kanilang justification kung bakit pwedeng i-grant yung kanilang MR,” he asked.
In response, Guevarra said: “In this particular case that is correct.”
“For whatever reason, hindi ko na alam, pero maliwanag na mukhang ang doktoran nangyari noong nag-file ng MR nung March 14, 2016 hanggang sa nagkaroon ng panibagog desisyon partially granted from dismissal naging demotion,” Lacson went on.
Drilon also questioned why the police officers involved in the controversial drug operation were transferred to “juicy assignments.”
“From all the evidence that we have gathered, you piece the evidence together again it confirms that there is a conspiracy to cover-up,” he said.
“Pati paglipat sa kay Baloyo, having been found guilty and demoted now gets juicy assignments,” he added. /gsg
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