Rody: Some cops silencing cohorts
(The Philippine Star) - June 23, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Some policemen may be killing their accomplices in drug trafficking to ensure they will not be implicated in the criminal activities.

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte himself conceded this possibility yesterday even as he vowed to help police officers who may face criminal charges for killing drug suspects.

“I will take care of you, I will protect you,” Duterte said in a speech delivered before local officials in Sarangani.

“If you kill 1,000, tell them it was ordered by Duterte. Period. I will deal with everybody,” he added.

Reacting to the recent killings of suspected drug pushers, Duterte admitted that some policemen involved in drug trafficking might have silenced their accomplices to escape criminal liability.

“Baka yung pinatay nila, mga bata nila (maybe those they killed were their minions),” he said.

Duterte warned law enforcers not to lie to him or use his name to justify illegal activities.

“I told the police and law enforcers not to embarrass me by lying. If you committed a crime for personal reason, tell me and I’ll help you. But do not lie to me,” he said at a business forum in Davao City last Monday.

Duterte, whose successful presidential campaign has been attributed to his tough stance against crime, has vowed to suppress criminality in three to six months.

He has also offered cash rewards to people who will kill drug dealers and has encouraged ordinary citizens to arrest drug pushers in their communities.

“If you (policemen) are subpoenaed by the ombudsman, tell them to send it to Duterte,” the tough-talking leader said.

Duterte, who served as Davao City mayor for 22 years, also warned local executives who are involved in narcotics.

“To the mayors who are into drugs: I will catch up with you. If we see each other, if we meet in one corner, I don’t know – I’m warning you, especially those who are still in government,” he said.

Duterte previously told lawmakers that at least 35 local executives are involved in illegal drugs.

Five drug suspects killed

Five drug suspects were killed in separate gun battles with the policemen in Cavite yesterday and Tuesday night.

Senior Supt. Eliseo Cruz, Cavite police director, said members of a raiding team gunned down suspected pusher Evan Sevilla and his two still unidentified companions during a shootout in Country Meadow Subdivision, General Trias, Cavite at around 12:20 a.m. yesterday.

Cruz said the policemen were serving a warrant of arrest issued by a local court on Sevilla at his house along Netherlands Street in Country Meadow.

Instead of yielding, the three suspects fired at the policemen, who fired back and killed the suspects.

The police recovered from the slain men three caliber .38 revolvers, a plastic sachet containing shabu and drug paraphernalia.

Investigators said alleged drug dealer Jerry Abundo was shot dead after he engaged police officers during an entrapment operation last Tuesday night in Barangay Puzon 1 in Rosario, Cavite.

In Bacoor City, a suspect indentifed only as Orly was shot dead by arresting officers after he engaged them along Tulip Street in Molino 2.

Cruz said the Cavite police had launched an all-out war against illegal drug gangs in the province.

Cops sacked for drugs

At least 20 law enforcers who tested positive for using illegal drugs have been dismissed from the service, the Philippine National Police in Northern Mindanao (PNP-10) disclosed yesterday.

Supt. Surki Sereñas, spokesman for PNP-10, said those found using drugs after the random test were sacked.

Sereñas said the dismissal was aimed at sending a strong signal to police officers that there is no place for illegal drugs in the PNP.

He said regional police director Chief Supt. Lyndel Desquitado recently issued an order to beef up the anti-illegal drug campaign within the PNP.

“The previous policy was further strengthened to prove the sincerity of the PNP in its anti-illegal drugs campaign where instead of random drug test, a mandatory drug test shall be randomly conducted to all personnel,” he added.

To date, the PNP-10 headquarters has received 41 drug-related cases involving police officers, two of whom were able to retire before a decision could be made, one resigned while another was cleared of the charges.

An alleged top drug dealer in Central Visayas, Alvaro Alvaro, alias Barok, surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Tuesday.

Alvaro underwent interrogation by agents of the NBI’s anti-illegal drugs unit yesterday.

Earlier reports said Alvaro, accompanied by his mother and wife, first surrendered at the NBI’s field office in Bohol, then was sent to the Central Visayas office that afternoon before being flown to the NBI headquarters in Manila.

Lawyer Rennan Augustus Oliva, head of the NBI-Bohol office, said Alvaro is facing various cases, including illegal possession of drugs and a violation of the anti-child abuse law.

He has a pending arrest warrant issued by Judge Jerry Dicdican of the Danao City Regional Trial Court Branch 25, which was to be served by police from Central Visayas and Las Piñas city.

But last Friday night, Alvaro allegedly escaped after a shootout occurred between policemen and Jeffrey Otom Diaz and his companion Paul Vincent Gloria inside Pilar Village in Las Piñas.

A female public school teacher and four others were arrested last Tuesday for alleged drug trafficking in Tacurong City.

Supt. Rannie Hachuela, chief of the Tacurong City police, identified the suspects as Noria Pudin, a teacher at the Tacurong City National High School, her companions Benjie Gayan, Aliman Salat, Nasser Midtonong and Hasser Musalim.

The policemen served a search warrant issued by Judge Melanio Guerrero of the Tacurong City regional trial court at Pudin’s house and arrested the teacher and the other suspects. Shabu was found in the house.

Hachuela said the suspects are now detained at the Tacurong jail and would be charged with drug trafficking.

He said the five suspects were arrested a day after policemen in Lebak, Sultan Kudarat, nabbed drug dealer Domino Fernandez after a month-long surveillance. Police seized from Fernandez P40,000 worth of shabu.

Addicts and pushers surrender

Some 352 self-confessed drug users and pushers from different barangays surrendered yesterday to the Quezon City police.

The drug personalities were rounded up by barangay officials and local police in an “offering of the hand of peace before the war against drugs.”

According to Police Senior Supt. Joselito Esquivel Jr., QC deputy district director, the surrender of the suspected drug dependents was part of “Oplan Katok at Pakiusap” that encourages addicts to turn themselves in to avoid violence.

Those who surrendered are expected to take an oath to stay away from using and selling illegal drugs and would be subjected to drug tests.

Those who surrendered were allegedly users and sellers of illegal drugs that include shabu, marijuana, ecstacy and rugby.

In the Caraga region, police regional director Chief Supt. Rolando Felix said 272 drug pushers and users have surrendered to authorities in Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Norte.

Felix said 200 suspects yielded in Rosario, Agusan del Sur while 72 others surrendered in Placer, Surigao del Norte.

Two other pushers were nabbed in Butuan City.

In Agusan del Sur, police uprooted more than P6 million worth of marijuana plants from a plantation in Barangay Walden in Loreto town.

Agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) arrested eight drug pushers in various entrapment operations in Baguio City, Cagayan, Palawan and Butuan City.

In Bacolod City, police nabbed suspected drug lord William Chua and his son Wesley in Barangay Alijis last Tuesday.

The raiding team recovered P1 million worth of shabu from the Chuas.

In Manila, a 23-year-old man was arrested while on his way to deliver seven kilos of dried marijuana leaves.

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada presented to reporters the suspect Jonathan Hulleza, who was nabbed while on his way to Makati to deliver the marijuana.

Meanwhile, the police Anti-Illegal Drug Group (AIDG) will coordinate with the PDEA after the Department of Justice cleared Marine Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino and his Chinese companion of drug trafficking and gun charges.

Senior Supt. Leonardo Suan, AIDG chief-of-staff, said they would try all legal remedies to refile the case against Marcelino and Chinese interpreter Yan Yi Shuo of conspiracy in the manufacture and possession of illegal drugs under Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002).

Suan admitted that their morale had been affected after their case against Marcelino suffered a setback.

The justice department cleared Marcelino and Yan for lack of evidence.

Marcelino and Yan were nabbed in a house in Manila last Jan. 21. Some P256 million worth of shabu were recovered during the operation.

Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Theodore Villanueva, who conducted preliminary investigation on the case, said evidence must be presented to show that Marcelino and Yan had prior knowledge of what was to be found inside and what the two decided to do with the contents. – With Cecille Suerte Felipe, Romina Cabrera, Ghio Ong, Ed Amoroso, Gerry Lee Gorit, Arnell Ozaeta, Artemio Dumlao, Ben Serrano, Danny Danguilan, John Unson

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