DOJ finds probable cause vs Albayalde over recycling of drugs raps
The Department of Justice on Thursday found probable cause to charge police chief Oscar Albayalde with graft in connection with the alleged recycling of seized illegal drugs in 2013.
This as a panel of prosecutors conducted a reinvestigation on the complaints filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG).
The panel’s findings against Albayalde will be indorsed to the Office of the Ombudsman which has primary jurisdiction over crimes falling under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.
Under Republic Act 10660, the Sandiganbayan has exclusive original jurisdiction in cases involving PNP officers occupying the position of provincial director and holding the rank of senior superintendent and higher.
In its resolution, the DOJ found probable cause to charge Albayalde with violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for allegedly persuading, inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a violation of rules and regulations
The DOJ anchored its finding on Albayalde’s non-implementation of an order which sought to penalize the police officers involved in the questioned drug operation in Mexico, Pampanga November 29, 2013.
Apart from Albayalde, the DOJ likewise found probable cause to indict P/Supt. Rodney Raymundo Louie Juico Baloyo IV; P/Insp. Joven Bagnot De Guzman, Jr.; SPO1 Jules Lacap Maniago; SPOI Donald Castro Roque; SPO1 Ronald Bayas Santos, SPO1 Rommel Muñoz Vital; SPO1 Alcindor Mangiduyos Tinio; PO3 Dindo Singian Dizon; PO3 Gilbert Angeles De Vera; PO3 Romeo Encarnacio Guerrero, Jr.; SPO1 Eligio Dayos Valeroso; and SPO1 Dante Mercado Dizon for, among others, the following offenses:
1. Misappropriation, misapplication or failure to account for the confiscated, seized and/or surrendered dangerous drugs, defined and penalized under Section 27, Article II, of R.A. No. 9165;
2. Planting of evidence, defined and penalized under Sec. 29, Article II, likewise of R.A. No. 9165;
3. Delay and bungling in the prosecution of drugs cases, defined and penalized under Sec. 92, Article XI of R.A. No. 9165;
4. Qualified bribery under the Revised Penal Code; and
5. Causing any undue injury to any party, including the government, defined and penalized under Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019.
According to the DOJ, Baloyo, et al., allegedly misappropriated drugs when they declared that only 36.60 kg of shabu was seized during their operations, while the subsequent police investigation indicated that about 200 kilos of methamphetamine hydrochloride was actually recovered.
The group likewise declared that the cash they obtained from the operation was only P300, 000, while evidence indicated that said amount could reached P10,000,000.00.
The DOJ based the actual volume of the drugs and amount of money seized during the operation on, among others, the declaration contained in the Affidavit of Direct Participation of P/SInsp De Guzman and nine (9) other respondents.
Furthermore, the DOJ found Baloyo, et al. chargeable with the crimes of planting of evidence, bungling of the prosecution of a drug case, and qualified bribery.
This as prosecutors noted that the group: (a) illegally arrested one Ding Wenkun instead of Johnson Lee from whom they seized the drugs; and (b) implicated or imputed upon Wenkun the crime of illegal sale and possession of dangerous drugs despite their knowledge that it was Lee who should be charged therefor. The case against Wenkun was eventually dismissed by the court.
Finally, the Panel recommended the filing of: (a) an information for violating regulations issued by the Dangerous Drugs Board regarding the chain of custody of evidence against PO3 Guerrero and SPO1 Santos; (b) another information for falsification by a public officer against P/Supt Baloyo who made untruthful statements in his Spot Report and Progress Report regarding the operation; and (c) another information for false testimony and perjury in solemn affirmation against SPO1 Santos and PO3 Guerrerro, Jr. who made untruthful statements in their Affidavit of Arrest against Wenkun.