Some officers ‘protecting’ drug pusher in Ermita

THE Cebu City Police Office (CPPO) will investigate the allegation that there are police officials who protect a suspected drug pusher who was caught in a buy-bust by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 in Barangay Ermita last Monday afternoon.

Senior Supt. Noli Romana, CCPO director, said he will look into the accusation of Ermita Barangay Captain Felicisimo Rupinta that some police officials are behind the alleged illegal drug operation of Rodelito Gabijie.

He said the suspect’s name did not surface in their target list, which names top drug personalities.

In a phone interview, Rupinta said he saw a uniformed police officer in the compound where Gabijie’s reported drug den is located.

This happened six days before NBI 7 agents, led by special investigator Larry Dominguez, arrested Gabijie and 28 others and seized 121 sachets of suspected shabu worth P24,200.

Rupinta said he told Carbon Police Station and the City Intelligence Branch about the suspect’s activities in the barangay last year and early this year, but the police did not make any move.

“Samtang naay pulis nga mangurakot, magpabilin gihapon ang problema sa drugas (As long as there are corrupt police officers, the drug problem remains),” said Rupinta.

Meanwhile, NBI 7 Director Max Salvador said barangay officials must be vigilant on lawless elements in their neighborhoods.

“We must be vigilant because illegal drug is menace,” he said.

Drug den

The drug den is about 30 meters from the barangay hall, said Dominguez. The NBI conducted a month-long surveillance before capturing Gabijie.

For his part, Rupinta said he is glad that the NBI arrested Gabijie because the latter is an untouchable.

“Di mi kaako og duol kay iyang mga tawo tag-as og armas (We cannot get near him because he has armed men),” he said.

He believed some police officials are protectors of Gabijie, who is reportedly a City Hall employee.

Rupinta said he received reports in the past about Gabijie’s alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.

The suspect started his illegal drug trade in Ermita in 1997, Rupinta said.

Due to his anti-illegal drugs program dubbed as “market-denial checkpoint,” he was able drive away drug personalities, he said.

In 2010, Rupinta said Gabijie ceased operating in the barangay but came back last year.

The barangay official believed illegal drugs are the cause of crimes like snatching, robbery and petty thief in Ermita.

Most of Gabijie’s customers, he said, are college students and bystanders.


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