By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan
MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday assured that the so-called 13 ‘ninja cops are all accounted for and ready to attend the probe to be conducted by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Justice (DOJ).
PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said except for Lt. Col. Rodney Raymundo Baloyo, all of the ninja cops or policemen allegedly involved in the recycling of seized illegal drugs are now in the custody of Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit of the PNP headquarters at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
“Kaya sila nandito ngayon, para maging available sila anytime magkaroon ng pagdinig sa Senado at maging sa imbestigasyon na isinasagawa ngayon ng DILG at review na isinasagawa ng Department of Justice (They are here so that they will available anytime there will be hearings in the Senate or any investigation to be conducted by DILG and DOJ),” Banac said.
Baloyo was detained at the New Bilibid Prison after he was cited for contempt for refusing to cooperate in the ongoing Senate inquiry into the questionable Pampanga drug raid in 2013.
Baloyo and 12 other policemen were implicated in the Pampanga drug operation after they allegedly allowed suspected drug lord Johnson Lee to get away in exchange for keeping 160 kilos of shabu and PHP50 million.
The 13 cops were ordered dismissed but the penalty was reduced to demotion after a motion for reconsideration was filed on March 14, 2016.
Aside from Baloyo, the police officers involved were Capt. Joven de Guzman Jr., M/Sergeants Jules Maniago, Donald Roque, Ronald Santos, Rommel Vital, Alcindor Tinio, Eligio Valeroso, S/Sergeants Dindo Dizon, Gilbert de Vera, Romeo Guerrero Jr., Dante Dizon and Cpl. Anthony Lacsamana.
PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde, who served as Pampanga provincial police chief at the time of the anti-drug raid, was relieved from his post due to command responsibility.
On Monday, the DOJ announced the formation of a three-man prosecution panel to investigate the so-called ninja cops. (PNA)