I join former PNP chief-turned Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa in his fervent wish that there would be no more repeat of the infamous Jee-Ick-Joo killing which embarrassed the country in general and the national police in particular and triggered the abolition of the then PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group in 2017.
I think the general sentiment of all Filipinos was echoed by Gen. Dela Rosa in front of his successor and classmate from PMA ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986, Gen. Oscar Albayalde, other police officials and visitors including foreign law enforcement agencies during the 2nd founding anniversary of PNP Drug Enforcement Group on Friday. Prior to the event proper, Gen. Dela Rosa, my friend, retired Gen. Louie Ticman and I saw each other and exchanged pleasantries. Sen. Dela Rosa also brought the house down anew when he shared some jokes and his experience with Ticman of PMA Class 1976 during his speech.
Indeed, we would not forget the Jee-Ick-Joo case which prompted President Duterte to apologize to the South Korean nation and prompted Gen. Dela Rosa to offer his courtesy resignation to the President which however was turned down by the latter. That incident would forever haunt the police force and must really serve as a lesson to our policemen amid the no-nonsense PNP internal cleansing program.
I was privy to the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group’s investigation of the incident in which Jee-Ick-Joo was kidnapped by some rogue PNP-AIDG agents in Angeles City in Pampanga on October 18, 2019. The kidnappers strangled the Korean national to death near the PNP-AIDG headquarters in Camp Crame on the same day and brought his remains in a Caloocan City funeral parlor where the victim was cremated and his ashes flushed down the toilet.
The incident triggered the arrest of several members of the PNP-AIDG led by then Superintendent Rafael Dumlao III and Senior Police Officer 3 Ricky Sta. Isabel and the abolition of the PNP-AIDG which was then under Senior Superintendent Albert Ferro of PMA Class 1989.
On June 2, 2017, Gen. Dela Rosa created the PNP-DEG and made Senior Supt, now Brig. Gen. Graciano Mijares of PMA Class 1988 as its first director. After six months, Mijares was replaced by a PNPA graduate named Joseph Adnol, now a retired police 1—star general. Ferro returned as PNP-DEG director on December 11, 2017.
Under Mijares who went on to become an ARMM police director, the PNP-DEG seized 161 kilograms of shabu worth nearly P1.1 billion and arrested 36 suspected drug traffickers, five of them foreigners. Three armed drug dealers were also killed in gunfights with PNP-DEG operatives under Mijares.
Adnol had a very brief stint with the PNP-DEG and was designated as PNPA director two months later. He was replaced by Ferro who has scored mild accomplishments in the war on drugs over the past 19 months, well enough for the unit to elicit commendations from Generals dela Rosa and Albayalde.
Among the accomplishments cited by the PNP-DEG under Ferro was the conviction of Mexican Horacio Hernandez Herrera, a member of the notorious Sinaloa Drug Cartel for drug trafficking in the country and the arrest of 126 drug offenders including seven foreigners.
A record check showed that agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the defunct PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force arrested Herrera during a buy-bust operation in Makati City which led to the seizure of some P12 million worth of cocaine on January 11, 2015. The PNP-DEG only saw to it that it would successfully help in the prosecution of Herrera until he was sentenced to life imprisonment by a Makati court last January. Ferro also boasted an over 70 percent conviction rate by his unit.
Here are the other accomplishments of the PNP-DEG from January 2018 to last April:” the conduct of 66 buy-bust operations and 41 drug interdiction operations across the country and the service of eight search warrants and three warrants of arrest for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Its men also were involved in two marijuana eradication operations and one ‘in flagrante delicto’ operation during the period which led to the arrest of 126 suspected drug personalities including seven foreign nationals and stings which resulted in the killing of six armed drug traffickers in shootouts.
Ferro said they were also able to file 108 cases for violation of RA 9165 during the period wherein they seized nearly P755 million worth of prohibited drugs including 109 kilograms of shabu, 608 grams of high-grade marijuana, 4.19 grams of hashish, some 30ml of marijuana hashish oil and assorted drug paraphernalia during the period.
Those operations also led to the recovery of six motor vehicles, 21 assorted high-powered firearms and 1,026 different live ammunition, he added.
I would like to commend PNP-DEG anniversary awardees last Friday, among them Lieutenant Colonel Glenn Mayam, Lt. Col. Chery Lou Donato, Captain Jonathan Mostoles, Lieutenant Fernando Galang, Chief Senior Master Sergeant Aristocles Gutierrez, Chief Master Sergeant Edwin Taasin, Staff Sergeant Yusop Guiamadil, Master Sergeant Junvi Melchor and Non-Uniformed Personnel Blas Gado III.
Kudos too to the other awardees: the PNP-DEG Special Operations Unit 5, the Police Regional Office 7 Drug Enforcement Unit under Brig. Gen. Debold M. Sinas, the Bataan Provincial Police Office Drug Enforcement Unit; the Southern Police District DEU under Brig. Gen. Eliseo DC Cruz; and the Polomolok Municipal Police Station DEU in Region 12.
Under Ferro, the PNP-DEG has stepped-up its Project R.E.A.D.Y. which is aimed at educating more grade schoolers in the country on the ill-effects of illegal drugs and helping them to really understand that indeed, they are the future of the nation.
I hope and pray that all Filipinos will support the project which teaches Filipino grade schoolers-from Grades 1 to 12—the following: Obedience of the law, combatting pressure and saying “No” in using illegal drugs; Building moral values and self-esteem; and Learning the decision-making skills during risky situations.
Project R.E.A.D.Y is short for Resistance Education Against Drugs for the Youth.
CONGRATULATIONS TO TOP 5 NCRPO STATIONS
On a personal note, I would also like to congratulate the Quezon City Police District headed by Brig. Gen. Joyet Esquivel after four QCPD stations were named as among the top 5 police stations of the National Capital Region Police Office headed by Major Gen. Gilor Eleazar.
The top 4 QCPD stations are Station 4 in Novaliches led by Lt. Col. Rossel Cejas as No. 1 NCRPO Station, the Station 1 in La Loma under Lt. Col. Camlon Nasdoman (2nd place) , the Station 2 in Masambong headed by Lt. Col. Rodrigo Soriano (3rd place) and Station 11 in Galas under Lt. Col. Carlito Mantala (5th place). The Manila Police District Station 1 in Raxa Bago, Tondo under the supervision of Brig. Gen. Vic Danao was ranked as 4th. Congratulations to all and keep up the good job.