Napolcom keeps results of probe on ‘ninja cops’ under wraps

Published October 31, 2019, 8:29 PM

by Martin Sadongdong & Antonio Colina

By Chito Chavez 

The National Police Commission (Napolcom) confirmed that it has already completed its investigation on the alleged recycling of illegal drugs seized by the so-called “ninja cops” in 2013.

National Police Commission (MANILA BULLETIN)
National Police Commission (MANILA BULLETIN)

Napolcom Vice Chairman Rogelio Casurao, however, declined to reveal the results of the probe until President Duterte decides on what course of action to take against former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde and the 13 “ninja cops.”

Casurao said the report was already submitted to Department of the Interior and Local (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año.

The Napolcom was prompted to conduct the probe due to alleged irregularities surrounding the drug raid in Mexico, Pampanga in November, 2013 involving 13 police officers.

Albayalde was then the Pampanga provincial police chief when the incident occurred.

The 13 police officers were accused of stashing some 160 kilograms of the seized shabu and receiving P50 million from suspected drug dealer Johnson Lee in exchange for his freedom.

Eventually, to make it appear that the operation was conducted lawfully, the 13 cops allegedly presented another suspect in place of Lee.

Ninja cops, according to the PNP, are police officers who sell the drugs they seized back to the streets or use them to plant evidence for future operations for financial gains.

In a recent Senate hearing, former PNP Region 3 Director Aaron Aquino, now the head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), said Albayalde, then the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, called him up allegedly to prevent the dismissal of the 13 cops.

But Albayalde denied Aquino’s allegations, but admitted calling Aquino to merely be informed of the status of the case of his 13 former subordinates.

Albayalde had said it is normal for fellow generals to call each other, saying the families of his former men went to him to make them aware of the status of the case.

Instead of dismissal, the 13 cops were eventually demoted one rank lower.