MANILA – The Department of Justice (DOJ) said prosecutors have found probable cause to charge former Philippine National Police chief General Oscar Albayalde and 12 police officers for violation of the anti-graft law over an allegedly anomalous antidrug operation in Pampanga in 2013.
The DOJ on Thursday added that Albayalde did not implement an order “which sought to penalize police officers involved in the questioned drug operation.”
It said Albayalde’s violation was “persuading, inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a violation of rules and regulations in connection with the official duties of the latter,” and “for causing any undue injury to any party, including the government,” under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Indicted along with Albayalde, were police officers who conducted the raid led by Police Major Rodney Raymundo Louie Baloyo IV and 11 others.
The police officers will be charged with misappropriation of confiscated drugs, planting of evidence, delay, and bungling in the prosecution of drug cases, which are offenses under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Charges related to the planting of evidence, bungling of the prosecution of a drug case and qualified bribery will also be filed against the 12 police officers. All the charges will be endorsed to the Office of the Ombudsman.
Government prosecutors conducted a reinvestigation into a complaint against the so called “ninja cops,” following a Senate probe which exposed the alleged anomalies in the operation.
During the hearings, former police general and now Baguio City mayor Benjamin Magalong accused Albayalde of intervening to stop the dismissal of Baloyo and his colleagues who were found guilty of grave misconduct in connection with the 2013 drug raid.
Fallout from the Senate probe prompted Albayalde to quit as PNP chief in October 2019, less than a month after his mandatory retirement.
President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to appoint Albayalde’s replacement./PN