The CIDG submitted the amended complaint, which now includes former PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde as the 14th respondent aside from the 13 original policemen in the raid, before the Department of Justice panel of prosecutors.
Boy Santos
CIDG includes Albayalde in ‘ninja cop’ complaint
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - October 22, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) filed yesterday criminal charges against former PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde in connection with the missing P648 million worth of shabu that alleged “ninja cops” – policemen who recycle illegal drugs – seized during an operation in Pampanga in 2013.

The CIDG submitted the amended complaint, which now includes Albayalde as the 14th respondent aside from the 13 original policemen in the raid, before the Department of Justice (DOJ) panel of prosecutors.

Albayalde opted to go on terminal leave on Oct. 14 ahead of his retirement from the service on Nov. 8.

The 13 other respondents are police Col. Rodney Baloyo IV; Senior Inspector Joven de Guzman Jr.; Senior Police Officers 1 Jules Maniago, Donald Roque, Ronald Santos, Rommel Muñoz Vital, Alcindor Tinio, Dante Dizon and Eligio Valeroso; Police Officers 3 Dindo Dizon, Gilbert de Vera and Romeo Guerrero Jr. and PO 2 Anthony Lacsamana.

The DOJ had ordered a reinvestigation of the operation of the 13 policemen then under Albayalde, who was provincial director of Pampanga police in 2013.

“The inclusion of General Albayalde in the amended complaint affidavit filed by the PNP-CIDG before the DOJ today is a reflection of their assessment that Albayalde may be held criminally liable for the acts or omissions alleged in the complaint,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.

“For its part, the DOJ will conduct a fair and thorough investigation of the old and new charges and will afford General Albayalde his right to due process,” Guevarra said.

The CIDG had earlier investigated the operation conducted by Baloyo and the other Pampanga policemen who allegedly “recycled” or sold 160 kilos of shabu worth P650 million seized during a raid in Mexico, Pampanga on Nov. 29, 2013.

The policemen also allegedly released the arrested Chinese drug suspect Johnson Lee, who reportedly paid the policemen P50 million to let him go.

CIDG probers said Baloyo’s group later declared that they only recovered 38 kilos of shabu.

The CIDG was prompted to investigate the 13 policemen after they received reports that the Pampanga police officers had all purchased new sport utility vehicles.

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, former CIDG chief who investigated the Pampanga policemen, testified before the Senate Blue Ribbon committee and accused Albayalde of protecting his men implicated in the raid and intervening to change their dismissal order to demotion.

The controversy prompted Albayalde to step down as PNP chief and President Duterte appointed Lt. Gen. Archie Francis Gamboa as officer-in-charge of the PNP.

The CIDG asked the DOJ to determine if there is probable cause to file charges against Albayalde and the 13 others for violating Section 27 of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 (criminal liability of a public officer or employee for misappropriation, misapplication or failure to account for the confiscated or surrendered dangerous drugs) and Section 3, paragraph (3) of RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Complaints for violating Section 29 (planting of evidence), Section 32 (violating any regulation issued by the board); Section 92 of Article 11 (delay and bungling in the prosecution of drug cases) and Article 211-A of the Revised Penal Code (qualified bribery) were also filed against the 13 original respondents.

For Baloyo alone, the CIDG filed additional complaints of violation of Article 171 of the RPC (two counts of falsification by public officer).

For Albayalde alone, the CIDG filed a complaint of one count of violation of Article 171 of the RPC and for violation of Article 208 of the RPC (prosecution of offense; negligence and tolerance).

Police officers De Guzman, Santos, Guerrero, on the other hand, were slapped with complaints of violation of Article 183 of the RPC (false testimony and perjury).

Also named respondents were Lee, an alleged large-scale Chinese drug trafficker who rented a house owned by Librado Santos located along Lot 21 and 22 Narra corner Waling-Waling Streets, Woodbridge Subdivision, Lakeshore, Barangay Divisoria in Mexico, Pampanga.

Lee reportedly owned a black 4x4 2013 model Toyota Fortuner (LJK 88) registered in his name and a Toyota Vios without plate number but with “CIDG” markings.

He also reportedly rented a second residential unit along Building 2312-B Manunggal Street, Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga.

In their 36-page amended complaint, the CIDG explained they included Albayalde in the list of respondents because at the time the alleged anomalous drug raid happened, he was the provincial director of Pampanga.

CIDG said Albayalde, “instead of conducting an investigation over his personnel… recommended the personnel involved for the issuance of award.

“The raiding team admitted to be reporting to then provincial director Albayalde about the operation during the recent Senate hearings on the ninja cops. After the operation several security guards of Woodbridge Subdivision and barangay officials testified to have witnessed the seizure of the black Toyota Fortuner and the large quantity of shabu but failed to declare the Fortuner and only a small portion of the large quantity of shabu was declared.”

It added that Albayalde even allegedly attempted to dissuade then Police Regional Director 3 Aaron Aquino from implementing the decision of administrative charges against the group of Baloyo.

Albayalde also reportedly called former CIDG deputy director for operation Rudy Lacadin to influence him to validate the process over the matter being conducted by the CIDG.

It also pointed out that when Albayalde was provincial director of Pampanga, “he failed to initiate an investigation over the incident when its irregularities started to unfold.”

The CIDG also submitted the sworn affidavits of security guard Emeterio Cayabyab Jr., former barangay chairman of Nueva Victoria in Mexico Ernesto Esguera, joint affidavit of barangay security force members Joselito Lagman, Ernesto Canda, barangay secretary Danilo Tolentino, and barangay executive officer Roberto Pascual; and three police sergeants from Mexico, Pampanga – Jackson Mariano, Marlon de Quirroz, and Jerome Bugarin.

The CIDG submitted as evidence the transcript of stenographic records of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee hearings on the ninja cops dated Oct. 1, 3 and 9.

Lee not Ding

The CIDG said elements of the Provincial Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (PAIDSOTF) conducted an illegal drugs operation in Mexico town that reportedly resulted in the arrest of Johnson Lee and seizure of 200 kilograms of shabu, P55 million cash and a Toyota Fortuner.

“However, the members of the operating team from PAIDSOTF failed to account for the confiscated items, misappropriated and misapplied the illegal drugs confiscated during the operation, which was wrongfully reported as well, and other proceeds such as illegal drugs, activities liable under Section 27 of RA 9165.

“The respondents, instead of filing a complaint against Lee, reportedly filed a complaint against Chinese national Ding Wenkun, who they illegally used to replace Lee, and planted evidence against Ding and charged him with violations of Sec. 5 and 11 of RA 9165.”

The CIDG also alleged that Baloyo’s group failed to comply with the regulations of the board, particularly making it appear that the marking, inventory and witnessing were made on Nov. 29, 2013 when in truth and in fact it was on Nov. 30, 2013.

In the amended complaint, the CIDG narrated that on Nov. 29, 2013 at 10 a.m., security guard Rolleth Bagus, of FGB Megalink Security Agency, was on duty at Lakeshore Resort in Mexico when she flagged down the drivers of the vehicles – a red Nissan Urvan (WHY-210) and white Pajero (PLO-505) – for counterflow.

At this juncture Bagus received a radio call from the security guard at the entrance gate of Woodbridge that armed men, who allegedly introduced themselves as police officers, reportedly forced their way inside the subdivision. She then reported the incident to Ramon Estacio and Cayabyab, security-in-charge.

At 11:30 a.m. that day, elements of the Mexico Police Station, along with barangay personnel from Nueva Victoria, arrived and reported that Lee was in their custody. They also reported a disorder in their subdivision.

Soon, Bagus saw the red Nissan Urvan, white Pajero and the black car of Lee leaving the subdivision.

Cayabyab and Jasmar Laste followed the two cars that stopped at Librado Santos’ house and they reportedly saw armed men enter. Cayabyab said elements of the Mexico police and barangay personnel arrived outside the house at around 11:30 a.m.

But local police, barangay personnel, along with Laste, confirmed that they were not allowed by the armed men to enter Lee’s house.

Vivian Fontanilla, the finance marketing manager of FGB Security Agency, alleged that she went to Woodbridge after Bagus reported an ongoing incident.

She reportedly saw a suitcase and one traveling bag allegedly filled with white crystalline substance. Fontanilla reportedly saw a half-naked Lee being dragged inside a black Fortuner and allegedly saw two PNP personnel take a white crystalline substance from the floor and place some of it in a box and some in their pockets.

During investigation, Roel Cabag and Ding’s photographs were shown to Fontanilla and she reportedly positively identified Cabag as the caretaker of the house rented by Lee. She also said that Ding was a different person from Lee.

Esguerra corroborated Fontanilla’s statement, saying he also saw a half-naked Lee, who was asking for help.

He also said that an open gray-black big suitcase reportedly filled with white crystalline substance was placed at the back of the vehicle. When Ding’s photo was shown to him, he said the man in the picture was not Lee. 

OSCAR ALBAYALDE
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