JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra has created a panel of prosecutors to handle the string of criminal cases filed against the 12 alleged “ninja cops” before Pampanga courts.
The seven-man panel is headed by Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Theodore Villanueva. The members include Senior State Prosecutors Juan Pedro Navera, and Alexander Suarez, Assistant State Prosecutors Josie Christina Dugay, Gino Paolo Santiago and Ethel Rea Suril and Associate Prosecution Attorney Alyssa Ana Zapata.
The panel was created through a department order signed by Guevarra on February 17.
The prosecutors will handle criminal cases filed against the errant cops led by Maj. Rodney Baloyo IV before the Pampanga Regional Trial Court and the Metropolitan Trial Court in Cities in San Fernando city, Pampanga.
The cases against Baloyo and 11 other police officers stemmed from a 2013 sham anti-drug raid conducted against a suspected high-profile drug lord in Pampanga.
Indicted along with Baloyo were Inspector Joven Bagnot de Guzman Jr., SPO1s Jules Lacap Maniago, Donald Castro Roque, Ronald Bayas Santos, Rommel Munoz Vital, Alcindor Mangidoyos Tinio, Eligio Dayos Valeroso and Dante Mercado Dizon and P03s Dindo Singian Dizon, Gilbert Angeles De Vera, and Romeo Encarnacion Guerrero.
The 12 police officers were charged for misappropriation of evidence and failure to account for confiscated drugs in the November 13, 2013 operation, and of planting of evidence in violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 (Republic Act 9165).
They were also indicted for qualified bribery under the Revised Penal Code, as well as causing undue injury to any party, including the government, in violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
The DOJ resolution that indicted the ninja cops cleared former PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde of drug-related charges. He was, however, charged before the Office of the Ombudsman for graft.
Albayalde was the police provincial director of Pampanga when the questionable narcotics raid was carried out.