MANILA The 13 police officers allegedly involved in the reselling of seized illegal drugs in Pampanga six years ago will face administrative charges, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Tuesday.
Interior Secretary Eduardo AAo said seven cases were filed against Maj. Rodney Baloyo IV, 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
Ano said the administrative charges being pursued against the 13 cops include serious irregularity in the performance of duty, dishonesty and grave misconduct.
He said the charges were lodged before the National Police Commission (Napolcom) which he also chairs.
The charges were based on the investigation report conducted by the DILG-Napolcom that was submitted to President Rodrigo Dutere on October 25.
"That is the findings of the DILG-Napolcom review and reinvestigation board and the President approved it," AAo told reporters in a phone interview.
While some of the 13 policemen were already dismissed in the service, the DILG chief said they are still pursuing the administrative charges because their dismissal is still subject to appeal.
Meanwhile, no administrative case will be filed against resigned Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde, but AAo said he is liable for command responsibility.
"Ang liability ni Albayalde based sa findings ng board ay command responsibility kaya siya ay ni-relieve nung 2014. So ngayon, chief PNP siya, the most na magagawa dun sa comamnd responsibility ay i-relieve siya as chief PNP. Pero nag-reliqinqush na siya ng position. Tapos na yun, moot and academic na (Based on the findings of board, Albayalde's liability is command responsibility and that's why he was relieved as Pampanga chief in 2014. But then he became PNP Chief. He can be relieved as PNP chief but he already relinquished his post so it is moot and academic)," he explained.
Albayalde stepped down from his post on October 14 amid allegations of his involvement in the controversial operation. He is set to retire from the service on Friday.
AAo, meanwhile, said allegations claiming that Albayalde intervened for his men are deemed "contentions and allegations."
"Kung may magsalita dun sa 13, may nakuha tayong ibang ebidensya, okay yan, pero wala. (If someone among the 13 cops will testify against him and has evidence to prove it, that's okay. But there is none) It remains an allegation and we cannot use that as basis to file charges and dismiss Albayalde," said Ano.
"Kung may dumating na ebidensya (if there is evidence) to conduct reinvestigation, (we will investigation)...But I have a deadline to finish. Wala nang ibang ebidensiya na pumasok against Albayalde so 'yun 'yung findings ng board (But no evidence has been provided against Albayalde and so those are the findings of the board," said Ano.
Albayalde, former Pampanga police chief at the time of the operation, along with the 13 alleged 'ninja cops' are facing criminal charges before the Department of Justice.
The PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) included Albayalde as a respondent in its amended referral complaint dated October 21.
The investigation would focus on the policemen's alleged violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, qualified bribery, falsification of public documents, perjury and dereliction of duty.
The case involves the supposed cover-up during the November 2013 buy-bust involving Johnson Lee, owner of the house in Woodbridge Subdivision, Lakeshore View, Pampanga raided by 13 members of the Provincial Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operation Task Force of the Pampanga Provincial Police Office led by Baloyo.
The raid yielded a substantial amount of illegal drugs wherein involved cops allegedly pilfered some 160 kilos of shabu. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency