JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday created a panel of prosecutors that will handle the reinvestigation into the dismissed and watered down charges against so-called ninja cops led by police Major Rodney Baloyo.
Under Department Order 528, the panel is composed of state prosecutors Alexander Suarez, Josie Christina Dugay and Gino Paolo Santiago
Guevarra gave the prosecutors 30 days to complete their reinvestigation and, if evidence warrants, file the necessary criminal information before courts.
“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,” Guevarra said recently.
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 and was relieved following the controversial raid.
The police officers involved were ordered dismissed in 2014 after they were accused of recycling the drugs, but were later demoted 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.
Magalong also said that a former police official of a Central Luzon province was relieved over drug links.