762 cops under close watch for drug links

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday said a total of 762 policemen are being monitored for their alleged links to illegal drug activities.

PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said the matter is among the issues he discussed in a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday night.

“We provided him (President Duterte) the names and I also briefed him on the status of what we call as ninja cops. That’s one. I also briefed him on the status of our campaign on these scalawags in uniform, as well as our internal cleansing program,” Albayalde said in a press conference in Camp Crame.

The country’s top cop also said he discussed rumors of his alleged involvement in illegal drugs during his meeting with the President.

“As you all know, there are intrigues going around so I briefed the President on the status of our war on drugs in the PNP,” he added.

Albayalde noted that the cops being monitored are either involved in the recycling of illegal drugs or under the payroll of illegal drugs syndicates operating in the country.

He said it is up to the President to decide on the list of ninja cops submitted by the PNP.

“We leave that up to the President. Let’s give him space, we leave that to wisdom of the President. He said that he will decide in due time,” said Albayalde.

“The PNP’s internal cleansing will be relentless and will continue on until all rogue cops especially those involved in illegal drugs will be weeded out from the service and charged in court,” Albayalde said.

Since July 2016, the PNP has already filed administrative cases against 8,733 uniformed and non-uniformed personnel involved in different illegal activities. Of these cases, 448 PNP personnel have been dismissed after they were found involved in illegal drugs.

Albayalde said the PNP supports the President’s desire to impose stiffer sanctions against police officers 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,” Albayalde said.

Former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and now Baguio City mayor Benjamin Magalong reportedly identified the cops and police officials involved in the recycling of illegal drugs in an executive session in the Senate last week.

In a Senate budget hearing last week, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Aaron Aquino admitted that the recycling of seized illegal drugs remains rampant and rogue anti-narcotics operatives either sell the drugs or use them as planted evidence in bogus operations. PNA.GOV.PH