Sotto sees explosive exposé on ‘ninja cops’

Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Tuesday said “something explosive” would be revealed as the Senate resumes its probe into police corruption Wednesday.

“I don’t know if I’m at liberty to tell you but there is really something explosive again tomorrow,” said Sotto in the Talakayan sa Manila Hotel forum.

“I think new evidence, perhaps, one or two witnesses but new evidence for sure because I signed subpoenas last night. [It is about] the entire hullabaloo, from the GCTA (Good Conduct Time Allowance) Law to the recycling [of drugs], it’s all connected,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Meanwhile, Senator Christopher Go said President Rodrigo Duterte will name the two police colonels involved in the resale of confiscated drugs.

READ: 2 ‘generals’ out of 9 tagged in illegal drug trade still at it

Go, a constant companion of the President said Duterte is just waiting for the results of an investigation by the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Justice.

“The guilty ones will be held responsible,” Go said in a statement, adding that the President earlier said he got confused with the changes in ranks and mistook the police colonels for generals.

Go also said the President is making sure that the next head of the Philippine National Police will continue to carry out reforms in the agency.

In the forum Tuesday, Sotto said the problem of “ninja cops” existed even before Duterte came to power.

“The ninja cop controversy emanated from events in the past administration, not in the administration of President Duterte. That was an issue in 2013,” Sotto said.

He also defended Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, a former police official, for shedding light on the ninja cops’ operations during the Senate hearings.

He said PNP chief Oscar Albayalde should stop blaming Magalong for his testimony because it was the senators who elicited the truth from him with their questions.

READ: Duterte: Investigate Albayalde

During the Senate hearing on Sept. 19, Magalong said police officers allegedly sell drugs, mostly shabu, that they seize in legitimate operations.

He said some ranking police officials, including those who are still in active service, are allegedly involved in the illegal scheme.

When senators asked him to identify the personalities involved, Magalong asked for an executive session.

The Senate later allowed the Blue Ribbon and justice committees to release the transcript of the executive session and subsequently sent a copy to President Duterte.

The two panels, headed by Senator Richard Gordon, are set to resume hearings Wednesday, Oct. 9, with the presentation of five witnesses who will bolster the accusations against the ninja cops.

The Senate panel is investigating the alleged recycling of seized drugs by 13 Pampanga policemen who carried out a raid in Mexico, Pampanga in November 2013 .

The 13 policemen were subordinates of Albayalde, who was then the Pampanga provincial police director.

The irregular operations of the Pampanga ninja cops were uncovered after the police officials bought brand new SUVs. Then PNP chief at the time, Allan Purisima, asked Magalong, then chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, to investigate.

Magalong said the ninja cops had seized 200 kilos of shabu but declared only 36 kilos, then presented a Korean stand-in for the Chinese drug lord they arrested at a press briefing.

Albayalde, the incumbent PNP chief, was accused of coddling the ninja cops following a phone call he made to Aaron Aquino, then the police director for Central Luzon, asking him not to carry out a dismissal order against the 13 policemen.

READ: Rody confused: No generals, only colonel among ‘ninja cops’

READ: Narco-cops worse than felons—Duterte

READ: Narco-cops in two groups bared: ‘ninja liit, volt in’

Topics: Vicente Sotto III , Good Conduct Time Allowance Law , President Rodrigo Duterte , Christopher Go
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