Gordon orders jailing of police colonel

Rodney Raymundo Louie Baloyo

THE Senate Committees on Blue Ribbon and Justice yesterday cited in contempt a police officer and ordered him detained in the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) for being ”very evasive” during the Senate hearing.

Senator Panfilo Lacson moved to cite Lt. Col. Rodney Raymundo Louie Baloyo in contempt, which was immediately seconded by Senate Minority Floor Leader Franklin Drilon.

“For consistently giving answers which are evasive, very evasive answers, we second [the motion],” Drilon said.

Senator Richard Gordon, who was presiding over the hearing as chair of the Senate committee on justice, then declared Baloyo in contempt.

“I don’t want to give him nice quarters here. Gagastos pa tayo dito. Dalhin natin siya, katulad ni Captain (Nicanor) Faeldon — baka sabihin nila namimili tayo after Faeldon was in Pasay City jail for about six months,” the senator said .

“With the permission of everyone, we will assign him to Pasay City jail,” he added.

But later in the hearing, Gordon amended the order and said he will order Baloyo to be detained in NBP in Muntinlupa City.

Baloyo headed the anti-drug operation in Pampanga in 2013. He and 12 other Pampanga policemen were charged with grave misconduct and demoted by one rank in 2017 for alleged recycling of drugs.

The 13 Pampanga cops are currently on floating status.

‘Lies’

The police official tasked to investigate the Pampanga drug scandal said the 13 police officers ordered dismissed due to their alleged involvement in the recycling of seized illegal drugs lied about their November 2013 operation in Pampanga.

Retired Police General Manuel Gaerlan, former deputy regional director for operations in Pampanga, said the accused police officers did not turn over the whole volume of illegal drugs they confiscated.

The raid netted 200 kilos of drugs but only 36 kilos were turned over.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson for his part questioned raiding team leader Baloyo’s timeline for the anti-drug operation.

Baloyo said the November 29, 2013 drug bust in Pampanga was carried out by 4:30 p.m. or just two and a half hours after they tipped off on a Chinese drug trafficker.

Lacson wondered how Baloyo and his team verified the information given by the informant, secured P100,000 worth of marked money, conducted surveillance on the supposed drug den, and completed the drug bust in only two and a half hours as the team reported.

Gaerlan vehemently disputed Baloyo’s account saying the spot report on the drug raid was incorrect.

Gaerlan also said the drug bust was conducted without clearance from the team’s superiors, the raiders had no search warrant, and only belatedly informed the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) of the operation.