By Martin Sadongdong
The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday remained firm that the organization’s internal cleansing program has so far been effective despite the alleged involvement of high-ranking officials in the recycling of illegal drugs.
This, after Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong relayed to the Senate leadership some names of high-ranking cops allegedly connected to drug recycling. Magalong is a former director of the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
“We are thankful for the testimonies made by our previous police officers. We have to remember that Sir Magalong was a CIDG director five years ago. I think it was a different government that time,” Lt. Col. Kimberly Molitas, PNP Deputy spokesperson said.
“One of the things that happened is that those findings, from the previous police officers who are well-meaning, have become a reference for this new government to strongly resolve and fight against illegal drugs,” she continued.
“Five years ago, there were officers who have been working really hard to be able to look at this problem in illegal drugs. When the new administration came in, the information that has been gathered by our previous officers [were] used to strongly implement our war on illegal drugs. That’s the way we see it,” she added.
Under former PNP Chief and now Senator Ronald dela Rosa’s term, the police organization established the Counter Intelligence Task Force (CITF) to run after rogue cops. It was created in 2017.
In June of this year, the PNP then institutionalized the task force to become the Integrated Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG) under the current leadership of Police General Oscar Albayalde.
“It reflects that this solution is not just a band-aid solution to rid our ranks of scalawags. We made sure that it is institutionalized,” Molitas noted.
“We will continue and we will keep cleansing our ranks to make sure that every rogue cop, even though they were already AWOL [absent without official leave] as mentioned, na nakasira sa imahe ng kapulisan ay mahuli natin,” she added.
During the sidelines of a Senate session on the corruption issues hounding the Bureau of Corrections on Thursday, Magalong claimed that high-ranking officials were involved in “agaw-bato” schemes, backing the earlier pronouncement of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
He said some officers allegedly kept portions of the illegal drugs they had seized and sold them again to make money out of it.
PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said that recycling of illegal drugs remain rampant even with the current administration’s efforts to eradicate this menace.
President Duterte went on to confirm Aquino’s statements, and added that cops involved in said operations should be killed.