Senate to unmask ‘ninja’ cops

Senators have voted to make public the names of “ninja cops” who resell drugs seized during police raids or use them to plant evidence in other cases.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Tuesday the senators voted 17-0 to allow the Blue Ribbon Committee, which is investigating corruption at the Bureau of Corrections, to make the list of crooked cops public.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency on Tuesday said more than 700 police officers are on the government’s drug watch list.

“Some of them are users, while some of them are pushers. Most of them are protectors,” said PDEA chief Aaron Aquino.

He added some PDEA personnel, too, are involved in illegal drugs.

“PDEA is not exempted. We have cases filed against them. Several cases are still ongoing,” he said.

When he was then the director of the Philippine National Police in Region 3, he said he axed over 140 cops in Central Luzon and ordered their reassignment to Mindanao.

Because of the huge volume of confiscated illegal drugs from big-time laboratories, he said recycling of drugs was rampant, he said.

The transfer of scalawag policemen was just a band aid solution at that time, he said.

Many of the “ninja cops” in the region who were thrown to Metro Manila are now behind the recycling of illegal drugs, he said.

Among them were generals and colonels involved in drug recycling and abduction of foreign drug chemists and drug offenders.

“For example, the policemen would raid a drug laboratory and arrest the drug chemist. They would abduct him and demand a P70-million ransom. The drug syndicate involved would pay them. That’s what the ninja cops would do,” Aquino said.

The PDEA chief earlier tagged a Manila-based drug queen who bought confiscated and recycled drugs from corrupt policemen.

He said the female drug trader, who is a politician and has a brother for a policeman, was able to leave the country to evade arrest. 

He vowed to back any investigation into the involvement of scalawag cops in the illegal drugs trade but declined to identify them.

National Capital Region Police Office director Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar on Tuesday imposed a one-strike policy against policemen recycling seized drugs, and those engaged in drug trafficking or drug use.

Under the one-strike policy, all district and station commanders, and drug enforcement unit heads in Metro Manila will be immediately relieved and placed under investigation if even one of their men is found engaged in drug dealing.

During an emergency meeting with all Metro Manila drug enforcement unit heads at the NCRPO headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City, Eleazar said the same police would be imposed if a member of a drug enforcement unit is caught recycling seized drugs or is found to be on the payroll of drug syndicates.

The five police districts in Metro Manila—Central Police District (Quezon City) Eastern Police District (Pasig, Marikina, San Juan and Mandaluyong), Northern Police District (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela), Southern Police District (Pasay, Paranaque, Las Pinas, Taguig and Muntinlupa, and the town of Pateros) and the Manila Police District (Manila) are all under Eleazar’s supervision.

Eleazar earlier reacted the statement made by the PDEA that recycling of prohibited drugs by police officers is still rampant.

“As a remedial measure, I relieved all the personnel of the drug enforcement units from the district down to the police stations, and eventually replaced all with new personnel. My belief was that the old personnel in these units were inadvertently contaminated by the malpractices involving illegal drugs—including recycling, ...and kidnapping for ransom by rogue cops,” he said.

Two years ago, PDEA officials said the drug problem would persist unless the administration got rid of government officials and law enforcers protecting the drug syndicates.

During a forum in Quezon City, the PDEA revealed that the international drug syndicates are operating in the country in cahoots with government and police officials.

Methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as Shabu; Marijuana and party drug Ecstasy are the top three narcotics distributed in the streets and these are manufactured by Chinese, Taiwanese and Mexican drug syndicates, the agency said.

PDEA added the country’s drug problem can now be classified as a national security threat.

Also on Tuesday, Senator Christopher Go said he and the President are consolidating reports from different agencies about policemen involved in the recycling of confiscated drugs. With Macon Ramos-Araneta

Topics: “ninja cops” , Vicente Sotto III , Bureau of Corrections , Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency
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