Manila’s police chief Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao said it has always been his policy not to tolerate “ninja cops,” or rogue policemen who recycle confiscated drugs, especially under his watch as director of the Manila Police District (MPD).
Joven Cagande/File
Manila police chief threatens to kill ‘ninja’ cops
Marc Jayson Cayabyab (The Philippine Star) - September 28, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Manila’s police chief Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao yesterday warned he would kill any of his men involved in the illegal drug trade.

Danao said it has always been his policy not to tolerate “ninja cops,” or rogue policemen who recycle confiscated drugs, especially under his watch as director of the Manila Police District (MPD).

“Since day one, I have told them not to engage in any illegal drug activity. They know my policy. I even told them, if you will be found positive and disobey my orders, I warned them it will lead to your end,” Danao said.

Danao made the statement following the revelation of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino that several policemen are on the payroll of suspected “drug queen” Guia Gomez Castro, village chief of Barangay 484 in Sampaloc, Manila.

Aquino said Castro became a billionaire by dealing in illegal drugs sourced from corrupt police officers and reselling them in the streets.

Castro reportedly escaped abroad and is now the subject of a manhunt by police. The Department of Justice has issued an immigration lookout bulletin against Castro to monitor her flight itineraries and whereabouts abroad.

Castro has three standing warrants of arrest before the Quezon City and Manila courts for illegal drugs and violation of the bouncing checks law, according to National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar.

Authorities, meanwhile, are focusing on identifying the “ninja cops” protecting Castro’s illicit trade.

Danao said he would focus his efforts on finding out if any of his men in the MPD are involved.

In an interview over CNN Philippines, Danao said his men would kill Castro or anyone of her cohorts if she resists arrest and fights it out.

“If it will be found out that it will be positive and there will be a police operation and she will fight it out with our policemen, definitely we will kill her,” Danao said.

The NCRPO revealed the identity of Manila’s “drug queen” following an exposé before the Senate by Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, a former chief of the police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

Magalong revealed to the Senate in an executive session the names of policemen involved in the illegal drug trade.

Outgoing Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde was also linked to allegations that he is protecting his subordinates involved in the drug trade.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, however, vouched for Albayalde’s integrity.

“The way I see it, he is hardworking and sincere. If I base my observations, I had the pleasure working with him as chief PNP, I really believe in his resolve,” Año said in an interview with dzMM.

He dismissed talks that Albayalde would be made to retire earlier than his mandatory retirement on Nov. 8.

During the Senate hearing, National Police Commission (Napolcom) vice chairman Rogelio Casurao brought up the time when Albayalde was relieved as provincial police director of Pampanga following a drug sting operation that went haywire in 2014.

Albayalde had been relieved after his men were accused of irregularities in an operation that resulted in the confiscation of millions of pesos worth of shabu and the arrest of a Chinese national in Mexico, Pampanga.?However, Albayalde was not charged while his men were filed with criminal charges that were later dismissed. The policemen involved were suspended and demoted.

Año said the development showed the issue was already resolved in favor of Albayalde.

Año lamented it would have been better if the PNP had been informed beforehand of the ninja cops issue instead of learning about it at a Senate hearing.  – With Romina Cabrera, Robertzon Ramirez

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