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Top cop protects ‘ninjas’

He appeared to be protecting his men who were involved in the drug trade

Hananeel Bordey

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An active, high-ranking police officer provides protection to rogue “ninja cops” who recycle seized illegal drugs from arrested big suppliers, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon disclosed yesterday.

Former Criminal and Investigation Detection Group (CIDG) director and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong supposedly made this revelation before the joint Senate Blue Ribbon Committee and Committee on Justice and Human Rights executive session.

Drilon said Magalong has named the high-ranking official of the Philippine National Police (PNP) who is still in service. He does not have the permission to reveal the name unless the source or the Senate says so as it was given during an Executive session.

“There is a high-ranking active police official whose fault was by not punishing (his erring subordinates). And he appeared to be protecting his men who were involved in the drug trade,” Drilon said.

Kept in dark
But the senator explained that this official was not directly involved or was receiving money from the drug trade. The official was kept in the dark during the drug sting operations.

“He (Magalong) did not say that (the police officer) earned money or (was) directly involved. In fairness, it’s either negligence or because of loyalty to his men. (His men) were not punished,” he said.

“That is his (Magalong) declaration. He did not impose discipline or penalty on his people who were reported to be involved in the drug trade,” he added.

Drilon also confirmed that the members of the alleged “rogue group” were only reassigned to other positions in the PNP.

During the probe on the controversies not surrounding the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), Magalong revealed that there is a certain group in the PNP that resells illegal drugs gathered from legitimate police operations.

He said that this group was also underdeclaring the volume of drugs seized and keep them in their “safe house,” instead.

Recycling rampant
Magalong also said his investigation proved these drugs were traded with some of the inmates at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

Sen. Richard Gordon said the Senate will inform President Rodrigo Duterte about this drug scheme by PNP officials.

Previously, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director general Aaron Aquino admitted that recycling of illegal drugs by cops remains “rampant.”

“Their usual modus is when they seize drugs, only half was being surrendered. The other drugs are being kept, either for future operations or the worst of it, is they sell the drugs,” Aquino said.
The PDEA chief’s admission was based on the information given by assets and some operatives.

Top of food chain
Meanwhile, Aquino on Friday revealed that drug chemists command higher ransom value when they are apprehended by cops during operations.

The Senate probe had revealed the practice by some police operatives to release their suspects for a fee. But drug chemists, Aquino said, are more valuable prisoners than the drug dealers, themselves.

“The drug chemists of international drug syndicates, whenever caught, their worth is P70 million. They are considered gold because they are the ones who have knowledge how to produce high-quality shabu,” he said.

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