By Aaron Recuenco
Police anti-scalawag operatives killed a lawman allegedly moonlighting as a drug pusher in Occidental Mindoro, the third cop killed since the new leadership of the Counter-Intelligence Task Force (CITF) had warned of a bloody war against erring law enforcers.
Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat, CITF commander, said the operation stemmed from a report about the involvement of a certain police officer Marco Hashim Alegre in peddling illegal drugs in Paluan town of Occidental Mindoro.
“Based on our background check, he was monitored and validated to have been involved in illegal drugs as supplier anywhere he was assigned,” Caramat said.
Caramat said the operation pushed through after a police poseur-buyer was able to negotiate with Alegre a sachet of shabu for P1,000. The meeting place was on Cabrera Street in Barangay Marikit in Paluan town at around 12:10 p.m. on Saturday.
“When he was about to be arrested, he resisted and fired towards the arresting personnel using a .45 pistol. This prompted our operatives to shoot back which resulted in his death,” he said.
Chief Supt. Emmanuel Luis Licup, director of the Mimaropa (Mindoro Occidental and Oriental, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) regional police, confirmed that their background check revealed that Alegre was indeed involved in illegal drugs activities.
It was the Mimaropa intelligence unit which provided a validated report to CITF about the activities of Alegre.
Licup said Alegre was dropped from the police rolls in August 2016 after going AWOL (Absent Without Official Leave). He was restored into service on May 27 this year after appealing his case.
The involvement of Alegre in illegal drugs activities and subsequent death in police operations also exposed the usual problem of the police organization in dealing with their erring personnel.
In most cases, erring policemen would just appeal their dismissal or dropping from the rolls to be restored in the service—and go on with their illegal trade anew. Based on study of the police, erring cops would also bribe their way for their reinstatement in the service despite their bad records.
As such, Licup said he had already directed all his commanders to closely monitor any illegal activities of their personnel especially with those involved in illegal drugs.
“This is part of the national police leadership’s goal of getting rid of rogues personnel in police uniform especially those with involvement in illegal drug trade,” said Licup.
Caramat, for his part, said Alegre is the third active policeman killed in CITF operations since the unit was created in February last year.
The first was Senior Insp. Raymeon Hortezuela who was gunned down in Mandaue City in Cebu last month and followed by PO2 Gemmo Meneses who was killed in a drug bust in Morong, Rizal early this month.
Caramat, who is known for the bloody drug war in Bulacan, assumed the CITF leadership in May this year.