Northbound Philippines News

DoJ forms panel to probe ‘ninja cops’

MANILA — A three-man prosecution panel has been formed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate “ninja cops” or police officers involved in the recycling of illegal drugs seized during operations.

In a Department Order No. 528, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra named Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Alexander Suarez, Assistant State Prosecutor Josie Christina Dugay and Assistant State Prosecutor Gino Paulo Santiago as members of the panel.

“The Special Panel of Prosecutors is hereby authorized to investigate and receive additional evidence in NPS (National Prosecution Service) Docket No. XVI-INV-14E-00152 entitled “Criminal and Investigation Detention Group (CIDG) represented by PS Supt (Police Senior Superintendent) Albert Ignatius Ferro vs. P Supt. Rodney Louie Juico Baloyo IV, et al,” the order said.

The panel has a month to complete its probe and file the necessary criminal information against the alleged ninja cops if warranted by the evidence.

Baloyo and 12 other policemen were implicated in the 2013 anti-drug operation in Pampanga in which the so-called “ninja cops” allowed suspected drug lord Johnson Lee to get away in exchange of keeping 160 kilos of shabu and PHP50 million.

“In the light of new evidence unfolding, and in the interest of justice, the DOJ will reopen the case of Baloyo et al. and will create a new panel of state prosecutors to conduct the reinvestigation,” Guevarra said.

The 13 policemen were charged for violation of Sections 27(misappropriation), 21 (planting of evidence) and 32 (custody and disposition of evidence) Republic Act No. 9165, the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2001 which were all dismissed.

Senators, who conducted hearings on the controversy, said the cases filed against the 13 cops were too weak that resulted to its dismissal. The cops were able to get a penalty of one rank demotion.   Benjamin Pulta / PNA –

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