Drilon: “Dirty Dozen” days numbered following Albayalde’s indictment

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MANILA, Philippines — The indictment of former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde and 12 other police officers, also known as “Dirty Dozen,” due to  the  2013 anti-drug operation in Mexico, Pampanga, is a clear signal that the days are numbered of unscrupulous policemen  involved in the recycling of seized illegal drugs, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said on Friday.

“You may not be caught today or tomorrow but, certainly, the law will catch up with you and send you behind bars,” Drilon said.

“The justice system may be slow but no one can escape from it,” Drilon also said.

For his part, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said the lesson learned here is that the law does not only have a long arm. It also has a very long memory.

“I personally think that it is as far as the evidence against former PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde can go, as shown even during the Senate inquiry,” said Lacson, a former PNP chief.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has found probable cause to pursue a graft and corruption case against Albayalde and 12 other police officers.

“The Panel found probable cause to charge Albayalde with violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for 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,” reads DOJ’s statement.

Drilon issued a stern warning to the so-called ninja cops or members of the police involved in the recycling of seized illegal drugs: The law is catching up with you.

Drilon , who was  justice secretary, likewise  commended the DOJ’s action.

“I commend and fully support the decision of the Department of Justice to indict former Philippine National Police Chief Oscar Albayalde and the 12 ninja cops involved in the recycling of seized illegal drugs in relation to a 2013 anti-drug operation in Mexico, Pampanga,” said Drilon.

“In the face of the evidence against Albayalde and his inability to provide evidence to the contrary, his indictment is the right thing to do. Anything less than that would have been a mockery and a slap in the face of Philippine justice system,” he said.

He added that it is only when we stop the impunity that we can truly end this decades-old problem of recycling of illegal drugs perpetuated by these so-called ninja cops, the very same people in charge of this administration’s bloody anti-illegal drug war that has killed over 5,000 Filipinos.

Aside from Albayalde, who was then the Pampanga provincial director at the time of the drug bust, the DOJ also indicted for graft Lt. Col. Rodney Baloyo.

Baloyo led the controversial drug operation when he was then the intelligence chief of the Pampanga police.

He and the other policemen were also indicted for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act specifically for misappropriation, misapplication or failure to account for the confiscated drugs, planting of evidence, and delay and bungling in the prosecution of drug cases.

Lacson noted that the surest way for police officers like Baloyo et. al to avoid past misdeeds from catching up with them is not to commit those misdemeanors in the first place.

The DOJ panel anchored its finding on Albayalde’s non-implementation of an order, which sought to penalize the police officers involved in the questioned drug operation.

Aside from Albayalde and Baloyo, also indicted for graft are Lieutenant. Joven Bagnot De Guzman, Jr.; Master Sergeant Jules Lacap Maniago; Master Sergeant Donald Castro Roque; Master Sergeant Ronald Bayas Santos, Master Sergeant Rommel Muñoz Vital; Master Sergeant Alcindor Mangiduyos Tinio; Staff Sergeant Dindo Singian Dizon; Staff Sergeant Gilbert Angeles De Vera; Staff Sergeant Romeo Encarnacio Guerrero, Jr.; Master Sergeant Eligio Dayos Valeroso; and Master Sergeant Dante Mercado Dizon.

A.K.A. “Dirty Dozen,” the 12 policemen were also indicted for qualified bribery. (Stacy Ang/IAMIGO/Currentph.com)

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