Probe of ninjas, Albayalde ends; verdict up in air

The Department of Justice on Monday ended its reinvestigation of the complaint filed by the Philippine National Police against 14 policemen led by former PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde for allegedly pilfering and reselling P648 million worth of illegal drugs during a raid in Pampanga in 2013.

Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Alexander Suarez said the complaint filed by the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group against the 14 policemen has already been submitted for resolution.

Suarez expressed confidence that the DOJ panel could come up with a resolution soon, well before the 90 days it has to do so.

PNP-CIDG Lt. Dennis Wagas expressed hope that the panel of prosecutors would find merit in the complaint filed against Albayalde and 13 so-called “ninja cops.”

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During Monday’s hearing, all of the respondents submitted their rejoinder-affidavits except for SPO1 Ronald Santos, who waived his right to take part in the preliminary investigation.

In his affidavit, Albayalde denied that he had direct control and supervision over the questionable drug raid conducted by the team led by Police Supt. Rodney Raymundo Baloyo IV and his 12 men on Nov. 23, 2013.

The former PNP chief said the CIDG even contradicted itself because in its reply-affidavit it said it was Baloyo who had direct control and supervision over the anti-illegal drugs operation.

“Complainant again attempts to implicate me, by mere association, and by merely jumping to the conclusion without any factual basis that I had ‘direct control and supervision over PSupt. Baloyo and his team’ and make me answer for the purported acts of other individuals, which is contrary to the fundamental principle that criminal responsibility is personal and that in the absence of conspiracy, one cannot be held criminally liable for the act... of another,” Albayalde said.

He argued that the allegation against him was insufficient in form and substance and failed to satisfy the stringent requirements under the Constitution, the Rules of Court, and prevailing jurisprudence for the filing of a complaint.

He said that even the Department of Interior and Local Government and the National Police Commission, in its investigation over the incident, found that there was lack of substantial evidence to administratively charge him for any offense related to the 2013 operation.

During the anti-drug operation that took place at the house being rented out by large-scale Korean drug trafficker Johnson Lee at Woodbridge Subdivision, Lakeshore, Mexico, Pampanga, the PNP raiding team allegedly released Lee in exchange for 160 kilograms of shabu worth P648 million, P50 million, and new sports utility vehicles. In Lee’s stead, they presented Chinese national Ding Wengkun as the suspect.

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Topics: Department of Justice , Philippine National Police , Oscar Albayalde , Alexander Suarez , ninja cops
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