State lawyers on Thursday filed before the San Fernando, Pampanga Regional Trial Court (RTC) criminal charges against the 12 police officers over anomalies in a 2013 anti-drug raid in the province.
The charges were filed after a panel of DOJ prosecutors chaired by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Alexander Suarez found probable cause to charge the so-called ninja cops.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is waiting for the results of the raffle that will determine which RTC and municipal circuit trial court (MCTC) will handle the cases.
Aside from Suarez, the other panel members are Assistant State Prosecutors Josie Christina Dugay and Gino Paulo Santiago.
The panel conducted the re-investigation of the complaint that was filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG).
The case involves the illegal drug operations in Mexico, Pampanga where a team led by Maj. Rodney Baloyo IV was supposed to have arrested suspected foreign drug trader Johnson Lee.
The panel charged the 12 police officers for violating Republic Act 9165, the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, particularly, Section 27, Article II for misappropriation, misapplication or failure to account for the confiscated, seized and/or surrendered dangerous drugs; Section 29, Article II, planting of evidence; and Section 92, Article XI, delay and bungling in the prosecution of drugs cases.
Aside from Baloyo, those charged are P/Insp. Joven Bagnot De Guzman, Jr.; Senior Police Officer 1 (SPO1) Jules Lacap Maniago; SPO1 Donald Castro Roque; SPO1 Ronald Bayas Santos; SPO1 Rommel MuAoz Vital; SPO1 Alcindor Mangiduyos Tinio; PO3 Dindo Singian Dizon; PO3 Gilbert Angeles De Vera; PO3 Romeo Encarnacio Guerrero Jr.; SPO1 Eligio Dayos Valeroso; and SPO1 Dante Mercado Dizon.
The 12 accused were also charged with qualified bribery under the Revised Penal Code.
Aside from these, Guerrero and Santos were charged for violating regulations issued by the Dangerous Drugs Board regarding the chain of custody of evidence; falsification by a public officer against Baloyo who made untruthful statements in his spot report and progress report regarding the operation; and false testimony and perjury in solemn affirmation against Santos and Guerrero who made untruthful statements in their affidavit of arrest against Chinese national Ding Wenkun.
The DOJ panel previously found that the 12 accused 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 200 kilos methamphetamine hydrochloride was actually recovered.
The group likewise declared that the cash they obtained from the operation to be only PHP300,000 while contrary evidence indicated that said amount reached PHP10 million, the DOJ panel said.
It added that 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.
The panel also found that the policemen illegally arrested one Ding Wenkun instead of Johnson Lee from whom they seized the drugs and implicated or imputed upon Wenkun the crime of illegal sale and possession of dangerous drugs despite their knowledge that it was Lee who should be charged.
Source: Philippines News Agency