Ninja cops breaking law on seized drugs

A PARTY-LIST lawmaker has reminded the Philippine National Police of an old law on proper recording of illegal drugs seized in raids and buy busts.

Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said ninja cops have been flouting the 17-year-old law that requires all police units to have representatives of the media, the Department of Justice and at least one elected official to observe and verify the recording of illegal drugs seized.

“These ninja cops should be put on trial for brazenly defying the legal provisions that are there precisely to thwart the rampant recycling of confiscated drugs back into our streets, which has become a lucrative racket for crooks in the force,” Atienza said.

“These rotten officers have been operating above the law and have made a mockery of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, which mandates strict guidelines on the proper accounting, custody and disposition of impounded drugs,” Atienza added.

Section 21 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, which provides that “The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall, immediately after seizure and confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of Justice, and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof.”

Philippine National Police chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde has been under fire over an alleged drug scandal involving 13 of his men when he was Pampanga provincial police head.

Officers led by then Maj. Rodney Baloyo IV, one of Albayalde’s deputies in Pampanga, allegedly kept for themselves cash, vehicles and some 160 kilos of shabu with a street value of over P650 million, following an operation against suspected Chinese drug trafficker Johnson Lee in Mexico town on Nov. 29, 2013.

In exchange for a P50 million payoff, Baloyo’s team allegedly set Lee free, and in his place presented another Chinese, Ding Wengkun, who was later acquitted of drug charges.

Meanwhile, the criminal activities of ninja cops serve as one of the strongest arguments against the return of the death penalty, Atienza said.

“Every citizen is vulnerable to potential drug evidence-planting and extortion by these police scalawags who are illegally hoarding seized drugs, and whose apparent sole motivation is to use their positions of authority to make money for themselves,” Atienza said.

“These ninja cops are bound to use the hazard of death sentences to threaten their victims of extortion, if and when Congress brings back capital punishment,” Atienza warned.