LAST Tuesday, as yours truly was very busy for the 67th anniversary of the National Press Club (NPC), I had a “surprised” (uninvited) visitor— Col. Remus Medina, the controversial choice as head of the regional intelligence division (R2) of the also controversial new NCRPO director, P/BGen. Debold Sinas.
From at least three media friends, I learned that for several days already, Col. Medina had been trying to “reach out” to yours truly “to explain himself” over the issue of his being ‘tagged’ as a ‘Ninja Cop,’ bolstered by the picture, now getting viral in social media, of his being with notorious bank robber and ‘drug lord,’ Herbert Colangco, during the latter’s birthday celebration inside Muntinlupa in 2013.
Over this controversial photo of Medina with Colangco, he said he “took the risk,” so to speak, because this was part of a highly-secret, anti drug operation, launched by the Eastern Police District (EPD) in particular, and the PNP-NCRPO, in general, to totally dismantle the notorious ‘Pasig Shabu Tiangge’ inside the Mapayapa Compound along Baltazar Street, Bgy. Sto. Tomas, Pasig City.
This 2,000 sqm. Mapayapa compound is owned by notorious drug lord, Amin Imam Boratong, which was raided on February 10, 2006 by the PNP’s Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (AIDSOTF) where more than P900 million worth of illegal drugs was seized.
Following this, the NBI in November 2006, managed to arrest Boratong and his wife-partner, Sheryl Morela, in Makati City, which led to their subsequent conviction and Boratong’s transfer to Muntinlupa to serve his time.
In other words, Medina risked being photographed with Colangco, a bank robber who “got promoted” to the status of a ‘drug lord’ during the time of PNoy (when jailed drug lords are having the best of their time behind prison, in exchange for their generous contributions to the campaign kitty of then DoJ secretary Leila de Lima and the Liberal Party), for a “higher purpose” and “in the interest of the (police) service,” so to speak.
Another reason for Col. Medina’s coming over to the NPC has to do with the decision of his “boss,” P/BGen. Sinas, to “shoo away” the NCRPO Press Club from its office at the second floor of Station 10, QCPD, and Sinas’ other “anti-media” policies.
As “Big Brother” to our colleagues at the NCRPOPC, it is expected of us at the NPC to take their side against this police general; being a good and loyal subaltern, Col. Medina said he went to the NPC to “smooth things” over with me.
This alleged anti-illegal drugs operation by the EPD targeting Boratong’s drug syndicate, was under ‘Case Operation (Coplan) Muklos,’ which was “approved” by then EPD director, P/BGen. Miguel ‘Mike’ de Mayor Laurel, as presented to him by Medina as “project supervisor” and, C/Inspector (police major) Richard B. Gumboc, as “project officer.”
Only the draft— and not the approved version— of Coplan Muklos was shown to this writer by Medina, who was at the time already serving as the EPD’s chief of intelligence (DID).
According to the plan’s narrative, it was disclosed that despite being behind bars, the Pasig Shabu Tiange continued operating, leading to two more subsequent raids by the PDEA in 2007 and 2009. Indeed, as the draft of ‘Muklos’ noted:
“Intelligence also revealed that the incarceration of Amin Imam Buratong at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) Muntinlupa City gave him more access to cheaper and lasting supply of shabu from the convicted Chinese Drug Lords serving their sentence at the NBP; because of this, he expanded his operation to other Barangays of Pasig and Marikina City and became the sole distributor of shabu at these places.”
Yours truly noted that Coplan Muklos targeting Boratong’s “drug syndicate,” was presented to Laurel by Medina some six years after Boratong was arrested and his operations exposed and some three years after the last PDEA raid.
The plan also called for the use of a “police asset” or “DPA” (deep penetration agent) whose main task is to make contact with Boratong and subsequently, identify his henchmen responsible for the continued operation of the Pasig Shabu Tiange.
Whether Coplan Muklos was a success or not (illegal drugs continue to menace the eastern part of Metro Manila), yours truly cannot say.
Indeed, ‘Google Search’ showed that until August of this year, the NCRPO, under P/MGen. Guillermo Eleazar, continue to encounter members of the Boratong Drug Syndicate in eastern Metro Manila. On the other hand, Google Search also failed to show any match to Coplan/Oplan Muklos. Go, try it for yourself, dear readers.
Too, whether Coplan Muklos was also actually initiated yours truly cannot also say; as I mentioned earlier, only the DRAFT of the operation details was shown to me by Medina.
Nevertheless, this high-risk operation by Medina where he got mixed up with high-profile drug personalities, especially Colangco, resulted to his being placed in the government’s “CI Watchlist” (counter-intelligence watchlist) that lists the names of policemen and officers with suspected links to illegal drugs.
And when now Sen. Bato dela Rosa became Chief PNP in 2016, Medina claimed that although dela Rosa was “convinced” about his role in Coplan Muklos, dela Rosa nevertheless decided to banish him to Mindanao.
(To be continued).