9 'ninja cops' tagged in Pampanga drug raid surrender

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 14 2020 01:22 AM

MANILA - Nine police officers involved in the alleged anomalous narcotics operation in Pampanga in 2013 have surrendered, nearly a month after the Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted them with 4 others, including former Philippine police chief Oscar Albayalde, for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

In a document released on Thursday, the provincial warden of Pampanga said the police officers -- namely Police Lt. Joven Bagnot De Guzman, Jr.; Police Master Sgts. Jules Lacap Maniago, Donald Castro Roque, Ronald Bayas Santos, Rommel Muñoz Vital, Dante Mercado Dizon; Police Staff Sgts. Dindo Singian Dizon, Gilbert Angeles De Vera, and Romeo Encarnacio Guerrero Jr. -- turned themselves in and were detained at the provincial jail.

Two of their alleged accomplices, Police Master Sgts. Alcindor Mangiduyos Tinio and Eligio Dayos Valeroso, meanwhile did not show up to surrender. Their former immediate superior, Police Lt. Col. Rodney Raymundo Louie Juico Baloyo IV, was detained in New Bilibid in 2019.

Courtesy of Pampanga Provincial Jail

Courtesy of Pampanga Provincial Jail

Courtesy of Pampanga Provincial Jail

Courtesy of Pampanga Provincial Jail

Courtesy of Pampanga Provincial Jail

Courtesy of Pampanga Provincial Jail

Courtesy of Pampanga Provincial Jail

Courtesy of Pampanga Provincial Jail

Courtesy of Pampanga Provincial Jail

Courtesy of Pampanga Provincial Jail

Last January, a panel of DOJ prosecutors said they found probable cause to charge the police officers, along with Albayalde, for "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" in relation to the anti-drug operation in Mexico, Pampanga in which the cops allegedly pilfered some 160 kilos of shabu against a suspected Chinese drug lord.

While clearing Albayalde of charges of such as misappropriating confiscated drugs, falsifying public documents, and failure to prosecute police officers, the DOJ panel found probable cause to indict the 12 other police officers for several violations, including qualified bribery, planting of evidence and delay and bungling in the prosecution of drug cases, among others.

Albayalde said he welcomed the development, saying he will finally be given a chance to defend himself in court.

Albayalde resigned in October 2019, just weeks before his retirement, after he faced allegations of coddling the police officers as Pampanga police chief.

He allegedly made calls to ensure the police officers would be spared from being axed, after a probe was launched against them in connection with the drug raid.

Former Central Luzon police chief Rudy Lacadin also said Albayalde not only tried to influence the outcome of the investigation but even admitted to partaking in the drug loot.--with reports from Gracie Rutao and Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News