MANILA – The Department of Justice (DOJ) has summoned the 13 so-called “ninja cops” tagged in an allegedly anomalous 2013 police operation in Mexico, Pampanga.
The DOJ ordered the cops to appear at its office on Oct. 16 at 10 a.m.
The department reopened the investigation on the Pampanga police officers led by then Supt. Rodney Baloyo who allegedly made off with some 160 kilograms of shabu worth around P648 million.
The drugs were seized in an anti-narcotics operation on alleged Chinese drug lord Johnson Lee in 2013. An investigation revealed that the police let Lee go in exchange for P50 million. Another Chinese national who was nabbed from Clark Freeport Zone, identified in earlier reports as Ding Wengkun, was presented as the suspect in the case.
Former Philippine National Police Chief (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong identified the cops involved in the operation as Sr. Insp. Joven de Guzman Jr., SPO1 Jules Maniago, SPO1 Ronald Santos, SPO1 Donald Roque, SPO1 Rommel Vital, SPO1 Alcinador Tinio, PO3 Dindo Dizon, PO3 Gilbert De Vera, PO3 Romeo Guerrero, PO2 Anthony Loleng Lacsamana, SPO1 Eligio Valeroso, and SPO1 Dante Dizon.
PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde, then the cops’ chief at the Pampanga police office, is under fire for supposedly attempting to spare them from dismissal.
Albayalde has maintained his innocence and rejected calls for him to resign ahead of his Nov. 8 retirement.
Magalong raised the Pampanga cops' case after he was summoned to testify on the alleged anomalies at the Bureau of Corrections and the PNP by the Senate.
The Senate investigation found out that the cops were merely demoted, in what Senate Minority Franklin Drilon has described as a "cover-up."
Albayalde believes the allegations about him were a product of politics, as he is set to step down and relinquish a highly coveted yet sensitive government post. - report from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News