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Sinas sacks 3 more Gapo cops over shabu lab

PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Debold M. Sinas yesterday ordered the administrative relief and investigation of three more ranking officials of the Olongapo City Police Office in the aftermath of the arrest of four of their fellows on suspicions of protecting a foreign-led shabu manufacturing syndicate and the presence of another who tested positive for marijuana use last week.

Earlier ordered relieved from his post was Olongapo City Police Office director, Colonel Randy Arceo. Latest to be relieved were Major Reynold Macabitas, the chief of the City Intelligence Unit Captain Ronelyn Sarmiento, commander of the Olongapo City Police Station 2; and Lieutenant Allan de los Reyes, the chief of the Olongapo City Drug Enforcement Unit.

According to PNP spokesperson, Brigadier Gen. Ildebrandi N. Usana, the four officers will undergo investigation for failure to fully supervise their men and monitor their illegal activities under the principle of command responsibility.

He said that Sinas likewise instructed Police Regional Office 3 director, Brig. Gen. Valeriano T. de Leon to supervise the filing of criminal and administrative charges against Lt. Reynaldo Basa, the chief of the Olongapo City Police Station 2 Drug Enforcement Unit and his men, Corporals Gino de la Cruz, Edesyr Victor Alipio and Godfrey Parentela following their arrest last Friday for reportedly ‘protecting’ a foreign-led ‘kitchen-type’ shabu laboratory inside Subic Bay which was raided by combined agents of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

Following the raid, Sinas ordered the drug testing of all 422 officers and men of the Olongapo City police force resulting in the identification of Patrolman Reyland Intal of the Olongapo Police Mobile Force Company for using marijuana.

All 396 others who were subjected to the same test by the PNP Crime Laboratory last Friday yielded negative results for dangerous drugs. Gen. Sinas said that 25 other personnel of the 422-strong Olongapo City Police Station who are either on schooling or on detail with other offices will also be subjected to a drug test.

Arrested during the raid at no. 366-B Finback West Kalayaan in SBMA, Olongapo City were ‘high-value target’ Jerico Dabu and Lt. Basa and Corporals dela Cruz, Alipio and Parentela.

Recovered during the anti-narcotics operation were around 1.3 kilos of shabu worth more than P7 million and the buy-bust money, four Glock 17 caliber 9mm semi-automatic pistols, five mobile phones and a Honda Civic with plate no. UKM-779.

Also recovered inside the suspected shabu lab were various laboratory equipment and chemicals reportedly being used to process the drugs prior to their distribution in the underground market.

Members of the CIDG National Capital Region Field Office headed by Colonel Randy Glenn G. Silvio spearheaded the operation with the assistance of the CIDG Zambales Provincial Office, the PNP Maritime Group, the PNP Drug Enforcement Group, the PNP Intelligence Group, the PDEA Regional Office 3 and NCR Office and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Law Enforcement Division.

Silvio said that Dabu has been identified as a member of a Subic Bay-based syndicate composed of Australians, American, Canadians, Chinese and European nationals as well as their Filipino contacts believed to be involved in the illicit production of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine’ being distributed to Metro Manila and Central Luzon.

The official said following their implementation of their Coplan ‘Iceberg 01-21,’ they have received information that the group is capable of producing three to four kilos of shabu every day, their raw materials being smuggled into the country after being mixed with legal shipments to evade the attention of Customs authorities.

“The group has been categorized as an Organized Crime Group considering that they have unlimited financial resources and contact persons and being protected by rogue law enforcement agents,” Silvio said.

The PDEA headed by Director General Wilkins M. Villanueva has taken cognizance of the case.

Villanueva said a Canadian national named Timoty Hartley is being hunted in connection with the clan lab raid. The Canadian was identified as a shabu ‘cook.’

The PDEA chief said that the secret drug facility was discovered when Dabu run inside the house while about to be arrested during the buy-bust. Officers who followed him were surprised to discover the shabu lab.

The four policemen were arrested near the place where they were apparently serving as ‘lookouts’ while helping the syndicate dispose the drugs. All four failed to produce any papers authorizing them to conduct an anti-drug surveillance operation in the area.

Dabu is be facing non-bailable charges for sale and possession of prohibited drugs under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Sinas also ordered the filing of administrative charges for grave misconduct against the four arrested policemen.

“I want these rogue policemen dismissed immediately from the police force,” he said.