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'NINJA COPS' ISSUE

CIDG includes Albayalde in criminal raps over 2013 Pampanga op


The Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has added resigned police chief General Oscar Albayalde as a respondent in criminal charges being reinvestigated by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The CIDG on Monday filed an amended complaint containing new charges against Albayalde for misappropriating confiscated drugs in violation of the dangerous drugs law, graft, falsifying public documents, and failing to prosecute a team of Pampanga policemen allegedly involved in drug recycling.

The CIDG added Albayalde as a respondent days after two Senate committees recommended that he be charged in connection with a controversial operation involving his men when he was Pampanga police chief in 2013.

Sought for comment, Albayalde said he welcomes his inclusion in CIDG's amended complaint.

"At least I will be accorded due process on this," he told reporters.

14th respondent

The former police chief is the 14th respondent in the complaint that originally sought the prosecution of 13 police officers who allegedly failed to declare the entire quantity of the drugs they seized in the November 29, 2013 operation in Mexico, Pampanga and let an arrested suspect go allegedly in exchange for P55 million and an SUV.

Prosecutors dismissed the original CIDG complaint, but Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra recently ordered a reinvestigation following a Senate investigation that revealed alleged irregularities in the operation.

A preliminary investigation before the DOJ will determine whether or not prosecutors will file a case against the respondents in court.

In its amended complaint, the CIDG cited statements made by witnesses in Senate hearings, which they said "established the respondents' grand cover-up and the non-declaration of the true quantity of the illegal drugs seized, moneys, and other items seized during the said operation."

The police unit alleged that Albayalde attempted to influence Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief and former Central Luzon police chief Aaron Aquino against implementing administrative charges against the 13 policemen.

They further claimed that Albayalde had called former CIDG deputy director for operations Rudy Lacadin to influence him in the CIDG's validation process.

"Lastly, when General Albayalde was the Provincial Director of Pampanga Police Provincial Office, he failed to initiate an investigation over the said incident when its irregularities started to unfold," the CIDG said.

The CIDG also added charges against Police Major Rodney Raymundo Louie Baloyo IV and 12 other policemen on top of the existing complaint for misappropriation of seized drugs, planting of evidence, and violating regulations by the Dangerous Drugs Board.

Now, the complaint also accuses the so-called "ninja cops" of delaying and bungling the prosecution of drug cases, graft, and qualified bribery.

Baloyo faces two counts of violation of the Revised Penal Code for falsifying reports in connection with the operation; and officers Joven Bognot De Guzman Jr., Ronald Santos, and Romeo Guerrero Jr. for false testimony and perjury.

Albayalde has stepped down from his post as PNP chief amid the controversy. He was supposed to retire on November 8. —with Anna Felicia Bajo/KBK/RSJ, GMA News

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