Raps filed over P6.7B shabu seizure
CRIMINAL charges have been filed against 50 policemen, including two generals, involved
in the anomalous raid in Manila in October last year that led to the seizure of 990 kilos of
shabu worth P6.7 billion.
Interior Secretary and National Police Commission (Napolcom) chairman Benjamin Abalos
Jr. announced the filing of the charges against the policemen, led by Lt. Gen. Benjamin
Santos Jr., during a press conference yesterday afternoon.
Abalos said the charges, which include violation of the anti–graft and corrupt practices act,
were lodged last Friday by the PNP and Napolcom before the Office of the Ombudsman.
The other charges filed were for violation of the comprehensive dangerous drugs act;
violation of the Revised Penal Code, specifically falsification, perjury, false testimony,
malversation of public property; and obstruction of justice.
“For clarity purposes, of these 50 respondents, 48 appeared on the CCTV (close circuit
television) video, and an additional two officers have been charged on the basis of
conspiracy with the 48,” said Abalos.
Abalos was referring to the CCTV footage that he presented last April which he said
showed a “massive attempt to cover up the arrest” of Master Sergeant Rodolfo Mayo Jr.,
then assigned with the PNP Drug Enforcement Group.
Mayo owns the money lending firm where the 990 kilos were seized by PDEG operatives
during a raid on October 8. The video showed Mayo in handcuffs but he was later released.
Police said Mayo was arrested, with two kilos of shabu, a day later also in Manila. Mayo has
been discharged from the service.
Among the officers seen on the video were Santos, the former PNP deputy chief for
operations who is now assigned with the office of the PNP chief; and former PDEG chief
Brig. Gen. Narciso Domingo.
Ibanez, Glenn Gonzales and Dhefrey Punzalan; Maj. Michael Angelo Salmingo, and
Lieutenants Jonathan Sosongco, Jeffrey Padilla, Randolph Pinon, Silverio Bulleser II, and
The 38 others are non–commission personnel, including Mayo. The ranks of the 37 others
ranged from chief master sergeant to patrolman.
Abalos said the charges were filed based on the joint investigation conducted by a
Napolcom fact–finding team led by vice chairman Alberto Bernardo and the PNP Special
Investigation Task Group 990 headed by PNP Director for Investigation and Detective
Management Maj. Gen Eliseo Cruz.
Abalos said the investigation was “very comprehensive,” adding the investigators had “gone
through everything, the inconsistencies of their testimonies not only in their testimony but
their testimony against (the) tape (video) itself.”
Abalos said 48 of the accused policemen are also facing administrative charges before the
“Aside from the criminal charges that have been filed last Friday against these police
officials, the Napolcom is conducting administrative proceedings,” said Abalos.
He said the Napolcom has completed its pre–charge investigation against the 48 personnel
who appeared in the video, adding a resolution of the administrative case is expected in
about 15 days.
“A pre–charge investigation is similar to a preliminary investigation under a fiscal. If the
counter–affidavits of the respondents are found insufficient, the Napolcom shall proceed to
file formal charges against them,” said Abalos.
“The possible formal charges include grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, serious
irregularity in the performance of duty, conduct unbecoming of a police officer, and
dishonesty, among others. The penalties include dismissal from service, forfeiture of
benefits, and disqualification from public office,” he added.
“Two weeks from now, we are going to know if they will be suspended, dismissed, or
reprimanded,” said Abalos.
Bernardo said he believes they have a strong case against the 50 cops.
that Napolcom is continuing to look into the case. He also said there is a possibility that
more additional personnel will be charged before the Ombudsman.
Bernardo said two of those charged before the Ombudsman were among the four generals
and colonels whose courtesy resignations were recently recommended by the five–man
advisory group to President Marcos Jr.
The advisory group vetted the courtesy resignations of 917 colonels and generals who
submitted their resignations on the call of Abalos last January to rid the PNP of officials
involved in illegal drugs.
“Two of the four (whose resignations were recommended to be accepted) were among
those charged before the Office of the Ombudsman,” Bernardo said, without naming
As to the involvement of Santos, Bernardo said: “Without going to the specifics, we have
what we call command responsibility in the uniformed service.
“If you went to the crime scene, you assumed that kind of responsibility. At that time, he was
the PNP deputy chief for operations. You are supposed to be mindful of all of those
situations, you are the highest authority (there), (and) nothing will happen below if you did
not authorize it. Initially, that’s all we can say. In fairness to Lt. Gen. Santos, we cannot
dwell on the details,” said Bernardo. (V. Reyes, Malaya)