Prosecution team tapped to handle cases vs ‘ninja cops’
MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has created a panel of prosecutors that will be in-charge of the prosecution of so-called “ninja cops” who are facing a string of criminal cases before the Regional Trial Court and the Municipal Trial Court and Cities (MTCC) in San Fernando, Pampanga.
In a Department Order dated Feb. 17, 2020, the prosecution panel will be composed of seven members — Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Theodore M. Villanueva, Senior State Prosecutors Juan Pedro C. Navera and Alexander Q. Suarez, Assistant State Prosecutors Josie Christina T. Dugay, Ethel Rea G. Suril and Gino Paolo S. Santiago, and Associate Prosecution Attorney Alyssa Ana M. Zapata.
The panel will handle the prosecution of the cases filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) and the Municipal Trial Court and Cities (MTCC) in San Farnando, Pampanga.
The case is about the 2013 illegal drugs operations in Mexico, Pampanga where a team led then by Police Maj. Rodney Baloyo IV were supposed to have arrested suspected foreign drug trader Johnson Lee.
“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 (shabu) 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 amoung reached Ten Million Pesos,” the DOJ said in a resolution made public last month.
“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 resolution also pointed out that the respondents were also found to have “illegally arrested one Ding Wenkun instead of Johnson Lee, the supposed owner of the seized drugs.
Baloyo, together with 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 have been charged with the following:
1. Misappropriation, misapplication or failure to account for the confiscated, seized and/or surrendered dangerous drugs, defined and penalized under Section 27, Article II, of R.A. No. 9165;
2. Planting of evidence, defined and penalized under Sec. 29, Article II, likewise of R.A. No. 9165;
3. Delay and bungling in the prosecution of drugs cases, defined and penalized under Sec. 92, Article XI of R.A. No. 9165;
4. Qualified bribery under the Revised Penal Code; and
5. Causing any undue injury to any party, including the government, defined and penalized under Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019.
On the other hand, Guerrero and Santos were charged for violating regulations issued by the Dangerous Drugs Board regarding the chain of custody of evidence; Baloyo, for falsification by a public officer for making untruthful statements in his spot report and progress report regarding the operation; and, Santos and Guerrerro for false testimony and perjury in solemn affirmation for making untruthful statements in their affidavit of arrest against Wenkun.
The case against the Pampanga police officers eventually resulted in the filing of graft charges against then PNP chief Oscar Albayalde.
Edited by EDV
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