Furious Aquino lashes out at drug offending PDEA agent, vows to apply full force of the law

Published September 29, 2019, 12:52 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Chito Chavez

A furious Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director-General Aaron Aquino has vowed to enforce the full force of the law equally and without bias to all following the arrest of a PDEA agent linked to the illegal drug trade.

PDEA Dir Aaron Aquino speaks during a press conference at the PDEA headquarters in Quezon City, April 25 2018. (Mark BAlmores / MANILA BULLETIN)
PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino (MARK BALMORES / MANILA BULLETIN)

He lashed out at PDEA Agent Richard Gaufo who was earlier nabbed by anti-narcotics authorities for possession of various firearms and 10 grams of alleged shabu.

The arrest was made by virtue of a search warrant issued for violation of RA 10591 by the court.

Aquino explained that RA 10591 is a “comprehensive law on firearms and ammunition which provides penalties for violations thereof’’.

With Gaufo’s arrest, Aquino said it only showed that crooked law enforcers even at PDEA exist.

Warning his men of strict repercussions, Aquino denounced his agency’s “crooked agents’’ and vowed to “pursue them to the full extent of the law’’.

In line with the government’s intensified drug war, Aquino said the agency will continue to support and cooperate with the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the country’s campaign against illegal drugs’.

He added PDEA will further enforce stricter measures of its internal cleansing process to rid the agency of scalawags and erring employees.

Earlier, Aquino in a Senate Hearing disclosed the rampant recycling of illegal drugs seized by anti-narcotics agents at the PNP.

Calling them “ninja cops’’, Aquino said rogue police officers resell their confiscated drugs to drug pushers.

In some instances, the rogue cops use their seized drugs to plant evidence on their arrested suspects for financial gains.

“Ninja cops” is the term used in the police parlance to describe police officers recycling their seized drugs in their operations.

Aquino also coined the term “ninja liit (small time ninja cops)” who downgrade the charges of an arrested drug suspect from illegal drug distribution to mere drug use or possession in exchange for a few thousand pesos.

In these cases, Aquino said transactions between the rogue cops and their intended victims are done on the streets.

To expound further, Aquino said that illegal drug selling is a non-bailable offense while suspects charged with illegal drug use may post bail to gain temporary liberty.