By James Hernandez
The co-accused of Police Major Rodney Baloyo on Friday (March 6) pleaded not guilty over charges in connection with their alleged involvement in the anomalous 2013 drug operations in Pampanga.
During arraignment proceedings before San Fernando Judge Esperanza Santiago Paglinawan-Rosario, the 11 so-called “ninja cops” pleaded not guilty over charges of misappropriation of dangerous drugs, planting of evidence, delay and bungling of in prosecution of cases and qualified bribery.
Those who pleaded not guilty were dismissed Sr.Insp Joven B. De Guzman, Jr, SPO1 Jules L Maniago, SPO1 Ronald B. Santos, SPO1 Alcindor M. Tinio, PO3 Dante M. Dizon, PO3 Dindo S. Dizon, PO3 Gilbert A. De Vera, SPO1 Eligio D. Valeroso, and dismissed policemen SPO1 Rommel M. Vital, SPO1 Donald C. Roque, and PO3 Romeo E. Guerrero.
Santos and Guerrero also pleaded not guilty of violating Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) regulations.
The case concerns the 2013 illegal drugs operations in Mexico, Pampanga where a team led by Baloyo was supposed to have arrested suspected foreign drug trader Johnson Lee.
Under the charges, the “ninja cops” allegedly misappropriated 200 kilos of shabu, P10 million and a Toyota Fortuner seized from the operation and only declared to have seized 36 kilos of shabu and P300,000.
The defendants also allegedly illegally arrested Chinese national Ding Wenkun instead of Lee and made false charges against him.