Senate detains alleged 'ninja cop' Baloyo in Bilibid

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Senators on Thursday, October 3, cited alleged "ninja cop"  Major Rodney Baloyo in contempt for allegedly for lying about the details of a November 2013 anti-drug raid in Pampanga.

At the Senate hearing on drug recycling on Thursday, October 3, Baloyo drew the ire of the senators when the specifics of the November 29, 2013 anomalous buy-bust operation was being discussed at the floor.

Responding to senators, Baloyo recounted of the anti-narcotics operation, saying that he ordered Police Officer 2 Anthony Lacsamana to conduct a surveillance on the area to be raided.

Lacsamana, however, contradicted Baloyo's claim.

A visibly irked Senator Richard Gordon told Baloyo: "If you keep lying, [then there's] no need [for us] to be here. Matatapos na tayo dito. Papa-contempt ka namin. (We will be done soon. We will cite you in contempt.)"

Senator Panfilo Lacson then moved to cite Baloyo in contempt. Gordon approved the motion and said that Baloyo would be brought to the Pasay City Jail to "avoid spending" the upper chamber's budget on him.

Lacson quoted Baloyo's statement during October 1 hearing: "'But what we did, Sir, we marked the mark money, Sir, with the initial of the operatives.'"

Lacson then said: "Tapos ngayon sasabihin mo isa lang. Alam mo nagsisinungaling ka. 'Pag inulit 'yung tanong, iba na sagot mo (Now, you're saying that only one [signed the mark money]. You're lying. When the questions are being asked again, you answer differently)." 

Baloyo was initially supposed to be detained at the Senate but Gordon later moved to have him detained at the New Bilibid Prison. This was after Gordon asked him whether he was trying to cover up for anyone, which Baloyo denied.

Gordon later clarified that Baloyo would be detained at Bilibid for "security" reasons.

The issue of the "ninja cops" was the subject of the October 1 hearing. Thirteen cops – who were previously under the PNP chief Oscar Albayalde when he was Pampanga provincial police chief – were involved in an anomalous drug operations. That illegal operation led to an order to dismiss the cops, but it was never implemented. (READ: 'Spectacle of a grand cover-up': Senate hearing bares how 'ninja cops' remain in service– Rappler.com

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.

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