By Macon Araneta
FilAm Star Correspondent
One of the 13 “ninja cops” involved in the sale of recycled confiscated illegal drugs and switching of arrested drug suspects and two Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) woman-officials were sent to jail after being cited in contempt for repeatedly giving false testimonies.
Blue Ribbon and Justice committees Chairperson Sen. Richard Gordon ordered that Supt. Rodney Raymundo Baloyo be sent to the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City upon the motion of Sen. Panfilo Lacson.
Inspector Ma. Benilda Bansil and CO3 Veronica Buno will be locked up at the Senate detention facility.
Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa asked that the two BuCor officials be cited in contempt for lying about their participation in selling good conduct time allowance (GCTA), uncovered following the aborted release of former Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez.
Bansil and Buno were tagged by Yolanda Camilon as among those who facilitated the supposed early release of her common-law- husband Gadford Gamboa in exchange for PHP50,000.
In seeking for the contempt of Baloyo, Gordon, Lacson and Drilon took turns in grilling him on the circumstances surrounding the drug bust operations in Mexico, Pampanga sometime in November 2013.
Baloyo was the commanding officer of the anti-drug operatives from the Pampanga Provincial Police Office that swooped down on the residence of Johnson Lee.
Baloyo repeatedly gave statements contrary to the testimonies of the witnesses presented in the joint senate hearings presided by Gordon.
On several occasions, Gordon gave Baloyo the opportunity to retract his false testimonies.
But he maintained his hardline stance that he was telling the truth.
The senators particularly questioned him on the time of the drug raid, the volume of drugs confiscated, and amount of money seized from Lee’s residence and the identity of the arrested suspect which they even presented to the media.
But Baloyo maintained that they raided the house of Lee at 10 am, which was in stark contrast to the statements of former PNP-CIDG Chief Gen. Benjamin Magalong and the other witnesses that the raid was held 4:30 pm that same day.
The senators also ruled that Baloyo lied when he said they confiscated only 36 kilograms of shabu.
Further investigations indicated that they actually got around 200 kilograms of shabu and PHP10 million in cash instead of the PHP100,000 he declared.
Magalong said this was the reason why shabu flooded Central Luzon after the raid.
Baloyo also repeatedly insisted that they arrested Ding WenKun, who turned out to be a Korean and not Lee whom they released for PHP50,000.
It was Lee whom the group of Baloyo presented in a hastily called press conference after the drug bust operation.
Baloyo and his men were under the leadership of PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde, then Pampanga police chief.
Albayalde has been accused of intervening in the dismissal of 13 ninja cops and requested to stop their dismissal.
But Albayalde denied the accusation and insisted he merely asked for updates on the case since relatives of the policemen were asking him.
Sr. Supt. Manuel Gaerlan, who was Pampanga Provincial Police Office (PPPO) OIC after Albayalde was relieved of the same post, testified in the same hearing that the “spot report” detailing the drug bust operation was all lies.
Confronted by the senators about the report, Baloyo remained silent for a few minutes before saying that the spot report was the truth.
“Di ko po maano sir, as far as I know, yan po talaga,” said Baloyo.
Lacson and Drilon also blasted Baloyo for giving evasive answers. His statements also countered the investigation results of the CIDG headed by Brig. Gen Albert Ignatius Ferro and the Region 3 Police Officer Rudy Lacadin, barangay officials, and court records.