Albayalde did ‘intervene’ in case vs. 13 ‘ninja cops’: Aquino

MANILA — Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino on Thursday confirmed that Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde had asked him not to implement the dismissal order against 13 Pampanga policemen involved in an irregular anti-drug operation in 2013.

Aquino earlier claimed in a previous Senate hearing that Albayalde called him sometime in 2016 to ask about the status of the case against the 13 police officers.

During Thursday’s hearing, Aquino revealed that in the same phone conversation, Albayalde had also asked him not to implement the dismissal order.

“General Albayalde called me up to know the status of the case, of (Police Supt. Rodney Raymundo) Baloyo and others, is the truth,” Aquino said.

“But he (Albayalde) also added, and I quote: ‘sir, baka po puwede wag mo munang i-implement ang order (sir, would it be possible for you not to implement the order)’. And then I asked him, ‘bakit (why) Oca?’ where he answered, ‘kasi mga tao ko sila (because they are my men)’,” Aquino added.

Aquino then told Albayalde that he would review the case and send the erring cops to Mindanao.

Following his revelation on the ‘ninja cops’ issue, Aquino told the panel that he is “in deep pressure and quandary” after receiving death threats targeting his family.

“I was thinking of my family who is now put in much deeper danger. A few days ago, I received a phone call from my friend who confirmed that some personalities are plotting against my family,” Aquino said.

“It was never my intention to malign the PNP. The same agency which I served and protected for the past 36 years of my professional life. The PNP made me who I am today. Knowing the sad reality of recycling of illegal drugs, it does not make the PDEA or the PNP look bad or the worst. It means we have to exert all means to cleanse our ranks and put a stop the cycle,” Aquino added.

The 13 erring cops were ordered dismissed but the penalty was reduced to demotion after a motion for reconsideration was filed on March 14, 2016.

The police officers involved were Superintendent Rodney Raymundo Baloyo, Senior Inspector Joven de Guzman Jr., Senior Police Officers 1 Jules Maniago, Donald Roque, Ronald Santos, Rommel Vital, Alcindor Tinio, Eligio Valeroso, Police Officers 3 Dindo Dizon, Gilbert de Vera, Romeo Guerrero Jr., Dante Dizon, and Police Officer 2 Anthony Lacsamana.

Albayalde, who served as Pampanga provincial police chief at the time of the anti-drug raid, was relieved from his post due to command responsibility.  Filane Mikee Cervantes / PNA –