THE Philippine National Police (PNP) poses no objection to the plan of the Senate to identify the so-called ninja cops, but requests that the rights of these police officers against undue persecution be respected.
“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,” PNP spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac said in a statement.
“We request, however that the Senate exercise due diligence in protecting the rights of these persons against undue persecution. 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,” he added.
On Tuesday evening, September 24, the Senate approved the motion filed by former PNP chief now Senator Ronald dela Rosa to authorize the Senate Blue Ribbon and justice committees to release to the public the information discussed during an executive session last week, including the identities of police officers allegedly involved in the recycling of illegal drugs seized from operations.
A total of 17 senators voted in favor of the motion.
Dela Rosa said he filed the motion for the sake of fairness to those being implicated in the issue.
“There has been speculation circulating around regarding the alleged involvement of the Chief PNP Police General Oscar Albayalde in the so-called ‘agaw-bato’ scheme,” Dela Rosa said.
“In fairness to General Albayalde, I would like to move for this body to allow or to authorize the Blue Ribbon committee to disclose the contents of the executive session that transpired during the last Senate committee hearing regarding GCTA anomaly. I would like to have the records or the contents of that executive session be made available for those who are interested so that the truth shall prevail, not speculation,” he added.
In his testimony before the Senate blue ribbon committee, which probes irregularities in the implementation of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) scheme, former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the country’s drug problem has not been eradicated as some police officials are involved in its operation.
He identified during an executive hearing the policemen and police officials, who according to their investigation, were involved in the recycling of illegal drugs particularly in the so-called “Agaw-Bato” scheme and ninja cops who were reselling the illegal drugs seized during anti-narcotics operations.
In an interview with reporters following the executive session, Senate blue ribbon committee chairman Richard Gordon rubbed four fingers on his face to specify the rank of the police official allegedly involved in the recycling of drugs.
He was apparently referring to a four-star police official although he did not say if the person is active or retired.
There is only one active four-star police official, the chief of the PNP.
On Monday, Albayalde said implicating him in the recycling of illegal drugs is a “recycled issue.”
In 2014, when he was still the provincial director of Pampanga, Albayalde was relieved over command responsibility after CIDG Pampanga head Bienvenido Reydado and six of his men were relieved over alleged “Agaw-bato” scheme.
The group is known for arresting known drug lords in Central Luzon. Once arrested, the group will free the captured suspects but keep their money and illegal drugs.
Albayalde was also defended by National Police Commission Vice-chairman Rodelio Casurao who said that the arrested cops have already been cleared from the case while Albayalde has been relieved only as standard operational procedure of the PNP pending investigation on the matter.
The PNP chief also reiterated his support to the administration's campaign against illegal drugs. (SunStar Philippines)