DOJ probes ‘NINJA COPS’

October 06, 2019
Menardo Guevarra

THE Department of Justice will reopen the cases filed against the alleged “ninja cops” led by police Maj. Rodney Baloyo.

In a text message, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra also said that he would create a new panel of prosecutors to handle the reinvestigation.

Guevarra said: “In the light of new evidence unfolding, and in the interest of justice, the DOJ will reopen the case of Baloyo, et al. and will create a new panel of state prosecutors to conduct the reinvestigation. Both sides will be given ample opportunity to present additional evidence. We shall try to resolve in a month’s time, considering that this automatic review has been pending since 2017.”

The move to reinvestigate Baloyo and his men came as the Senate wrapped up its inquiry into allegations that they recycled seized drugs, which inadvertently put PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde in a bad light.

Baloyo and his men were accused of carting away a huge amount of cash and P650 million worth of shabu from a suspected drug trafficker in a raid in Mexico, Pampanga in 2013.

Albayalde was then the Pampanga police provincial director who was relieved following the controversial raid.

The police officers involved were ordered dismissed in 2014 after they were accused of recycling the drugs, but later they were demoted instead of fired after filing an appeal in March 2016.

Senators questioned the reduction of the penalty, noting that there were aggravating circumstances in the case involving the police officials.

Last September 19, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, former chief of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), revealed in a Senate executive session the names of the alleged ninja cops.

Magalong added that a former police official of a Central Luzon province was relieved over drug links.

It’s unclear if Albayalde was included in the list, which allegedly includes a high-ranking officer.

Albayalde had defended himself from insinuations of being involved in the drug s candal, calling it part of “internal politics.”