PRESIDENT Duterte yesterday summoned Philippine National Police chief General Oscar D. Albayalde to Malacañang as the issue on so-called Ninja Cops sabotaging the government’s war on drugs continued to rage.
Gen. Albayalde earlier said that the PNP supports the desire of President Duterte to impose stiffer sanctions against PNP members found to be engaged in recycling of drug evidence.
“Pilferage and recycling of drug evidence by members of law enforcement is certainly worse than the crime committed by drug traffickers and therefore should be treated differently, possibly with stiffer punishment,” he explained.
The PNP chief added that police also ensure fidelity in the custody of evidence that will be used to prosecute drug suspects.
“Utmost transparency and accountability is observed in all police operations. As a matter of procedure, anti-drug operations are carried out with proper coordination with proper authorities and agencies.
“We assure the public that we are dead serious in our campaign on internal cleansing and that anytime that suspects whether policemen or not, resist violently especially with the use of deadly weapon, the police will also use the necessary force to contain or suppress the risk and threat,” he added.
Details of the meeting between the Commander-in-Chief and the country’s top cop were not immediately made available by Journal Group sources privy to the meeting. However, PNP spokesman, Brigadier General Bernard M. Banac said Gen Albayalde had made it clear that there would be an unrelenting drive against rogues in police uniform and other law enforcement and public officials directly or indirectly involved in illegal narcotics smuggling and trafficking.
“Let the axe fall where it may. We bow to the discretion of the Senate if it so desires to make public the names of PNP members whom it tags as ‘ninja cops.’ We request, however, that the Senate exercise due diligence in protecting the rights of these persons against undue persecution,” said Banac.
According to the PNP spokesperson, “the PNP only has the best interest of justice, fairness and good governance in uncovering the truth behind the alleged involvement of cops in recycling drug evidence.”
On Tuesday, National Capital Region Police Office director Major General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar met all 44 chiefs of different NCRPO Drug Enforcement Units at the NCRPO headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City.
Eleazar said that his meeting with the 24 heads of NCRPO anti-narcotics units whom he calls the “NCRPO’s cutting edge” in the crackdown against dangerous drugs focused mainly on the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency’s statement that the proliferation of drugs was due to the recycling of shabu by the police as well as the presentation of the Drug Queen Link Diagram.
“It is worthy to note that in the latest SWS survey, NCRPO got an excellent rating as it was shown that 8 out of 10 Filipinos fully support the government’s campaign against illegal drugs. Madami tayong intervention na ginagawa and I would like to recognize yung sacrifices na ginagawa ninyo dahil hindi ganun kadali maassign sa unit na yan. The bout of street value pusher tayo ang in charge at hindi nila matatawaran ang contribution ninyo at ng inyong mga tauhan.,” he added.
Eleazar earlier reported that eight identified Ninja Cops or those involved in “Bangketa/Hulidap” operations and recycling of confiscated drug evidence have ended up dead in the hands of unidentified motorcycle-riding gunmen since the start of the Duterte administration.
A “drug queen” accused of recycling seized narcotics is now abroad, ABS-CBN News said citing the Metro Manila police as source.
The drug queen is reportedly a local politician who had served for several years as a barangay chairperson and won in last year’s elections but failed to take her oath of office.
Her husband was also a former barangay chairman while a sibling and cousin are police officers.
The alleged drug queen was identified as Guia Gomez Castro, who left the country last Saturday, the Bureau of Immigration said.
She was allowed to leave since she had no derogatory records, the bureau said.