PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa directed all police units to expedite the investigation of unresolved killings of drug suspects perpetrated by motorcycle-riding assailants.
Dela Rosa, in a press conference Thursday, said following the removal of their role in drug war, they realigned their focus on cracking down the motorcycle-riding gunmen and fast-track the investigation to identify the suspects' identities and put them behind bars.
He added that they are now validating the veracity of information on "ninja cops" or policemen involved in illegal drug trade who are allegedly behind the killings.
Dela Rosa said they have received information, especially in Luzon, that the killings there were initiated by erring cops who wanted to take revenge on the PNP forces as well as to take advantage on the ongoing campaign to discredit the government and make it appear that it is part of their operations.
"Meron tayo [identified groups] like for example sa Eastern Police District area, particularly sa may Pasig City. Meron tayong information diyan na iyung tumitira na riding-in-tandem ay mga bata noong mga ninja cops. Yong mga police na minalas sa atin dahil sila ay involved sa droga," Dela Rosa said.
Because of the serious drive against illegal drugs, the drug businesses of these erring cops were affected.
"[Those are] police na galit sa atin at nawala yong negosyo nila sa droga pero sa mga bata inutusan tumira to make us look bad before the public," he said.
Once the information is verified, he said they will undertake appropriate actions to stop their illegal activities that have put the name of the whole PNP organization in a bad light since drug war started.
"Sumakay, sumabay [sila] sa war on drugs. Sumabay din namamaril ng tao at akala ng mga tao kasama yon sa mga targets sa drugs, yon pala mga gun for hire operations na yon, kaya sumabay sila," he said.
He said some of these identified cops are facing charges before the court.
"Yong iba nandito sa Mindanao, yong iba nasa Crame, sa RPAO [Regional Public Affairs Office] at nandiyan lang sila," he said.
After they were prohibited from engaging in anti-drug operations, he has instructed his personnel to shift their focus on preventing the occurrence of motorcycle criminals and find solutions to the killings.
"My instruction is very clear, hands off tayo sa drugs and concentrate on other crimes. Tutukan natin ang other crimes," he said.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on October 21, 2017.
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