By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Ronald dela Rosa said Tuesday that the names of the policemen allegedly involved in illegal drug trade should be made public.
Dela Rosa said the cops suspected of involvement in illegal drug trade should be identified like how the alleged narco-politicians were named.
“Mas maganda isapubliko dahil ‘yong nasa drugs watchlist na mga congressman, mga mayor pina-publiko natin, bakit hindi itong mga pulis? Pa-sweldo rin ng tao. Dapat kung mayroong unang dapat idinidiin sa problemang ito…itong mga pulis na involved, because they are there to serve and protect not to protect the drug lords,” Dela Rosa, a former chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said in an interview with reporters in Senate.
(It would be better to publicize these rogue policemen because congressmen, mayors who were in the drugs watchlist were made known to the public, and why not policemen? Policemen are public servants. If there is someone who should be held primarily responsible for this problem, it should first be the policemen involved in illegal drugs, because they are there to serve and protect, not to protect the drug lords.)
Dela Rosa admitted that much has yet to be done in the cleansing of the PNP, since there are still bad egg in their ranks, more known as “‘ninja cops”.
He believed, however, that the current administration has already significantly addressed the problem.
“Ongoing pa rin ang internal cleansing ng PNP dahil meron at meron pa ring gumagawa ng kalokohan. Pero ‘di kasing lala kumpara noong ‘di pa pumapasok ang Duterte admin. ‘Yong gumagawa ngayon sobrang tapang at sobrang gago na lang talaga (The PNP’s internal cleansing is still ongoing because there will always be policemen who will misbehave. But it is not as grave as before the Duterte administration assumed in government. Rogue cops who still engage in illegal activities are either too brave or too crazy),” he said.
Dela Rosa, meanwhile, came to the defense of his successor, PNP chief General Oscar Albayalde, who was tagged as among the ranking police officials named in relation to the recycling of confiscated illegal drugs.
Albayalde was relieved of his post as Pampanga police provincial head in 2014 for command responsibility following an anti-illegal drug operation in Mexico City that was accused of irregularities.
“But since then, wala akong narinig na iba [tungkol] sa kanya. He was relieved for command responsibility, hindi naman talaga directly nali-link sa mga tao niya na gumagawa ng kalokohan (I have not heard of any issues about him. He was relieved for command responsibility, not because he was directly linked to his people who involved in the irregularities)” Dela Rosa said of Albayalde, whom he appointed then as National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief.
“Kilala ko ang tao (I know the person), I had enough confidence when I assigned him as regional director of the NCRPO, [I was] very confident, not because we are ‘mistah’ (classmates in the Philippine Military Academy),” he added.
“I am betting my neck sa tao na ‘yan (on that man). Isusugal ko ang aking pagkatao d’yan sa kanya that’s why inilagay ko sya as RD ng NCRPO because I have high regards sa kanya (I will bet my integrity on him that why’s I placed him as RD of the NCRPO because I have high regards for him),” he stressed.
Dela Rosa said he was not in the executive session when former PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Benjamin Magalong met with senators in an executive session last week and named the policemen who were allegedly involved in drug recycling.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Magalong identified some “high-level” PNP officials who are still in service.
Read more: Duterte set to unmask ‘ninja cops’