PNP dismisses âninja copsâ in Antipolo drug operation
PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa approved the dismissal of M/Sgts. Donald Roque and Rommel Vital and Cpl. Romeo Guerrero.
Edd Gumban/File

PNP dismisses ‘ninja cops’ in Antipolo drug operation

Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - October 22, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has dismissed three “ninja cops” or police officers involved in drug recycling following an irregular anti-drug operation in Antipolo City this year.

PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa approved the dismissal of M/Sgts. Donald Roque and Rommel Vital and Cpl. Romeo Guerrero.

They were dismissed together with S/Sgt. Stephen Domingo and Patrolmen Lester Velasco and Eduardo Soriano, who were also part of the operation in Antipolo.

Roque, Vital and Guerrero were also among 13 police officers involved in a controversial drug sting in Pampanga in 2013, which implicated former PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde.

Gamboa, meanwhile, has ordered the PNP Internal Affairs Service (IAS) to review the penalty imposed on the policemen’s team leader, Lt. Joven de Guzman, who was only suspended for 59 days for a less grave offense of command responsibility.

Based on his assessment of the pieces of evidence gathered in the drug operation in Antipolo, Gamboa said De Guzman should also be dismissed from the service.

“We cannot close our eyes because the evidence is there. The investigation showed his serious wrongdoing,” he said in English and Filipino in a press briefing at Camp Crame, Quezon City.

The IAS found the policemen administratively liable for planting of evidence, robbery and attempted murder in the operation last May 4, 2019.

The cops allegedly tried to pin down a victim for illegal drugs who was able to escape. They reportedly went to the complainant’s house and stole P66,300 in cash.

Gamboa said the police officers have 15 days to appeal the dismissal order.

Thousands of cops dismissed

This comes as the PNP reports that about 2,800 police officers found guilty of grave offenses, including involvement in illegal drugs, were kicked out of the service since July 2016.

Gamboa said of the 2,806 police officers who were dismissed from the service, 454 were found guilty for dabbling in illegal drugs.

Gamboa said 102 lawmen were directly involved in the illegal drug trade while 352 were dismissed after testing positive for using prohibited narcotics.

“The involvement of a few of our personnel in illegal drugs and other forms of corruption is likewise a scourge,” he said at the press briefing.

The other policemen who were dismissed committed other grave offenses such as extortion and kidnapping.

They are among 9,172 police officers sanctioned for various administrative offenses.

A total of 4,721 policemen were suspended, 535 demoted in rank, 762 reprimanded, 208 had their salaries forfeited, 80 with withheld privileges and 60 restricted to quarters.

From January to September 2019, a total of 2,286 police officers were slapped with various penalties.

Gamboa ordered the PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group as well as their commanders on the ground to beef up efforts to weed out police scalawags.

As public servants, Gamboa said police officers should not get involved in illegal activities, including accepting bribes in exchange for favors.

“No take in whatever form of material or monetary consideration from operators of illegal gambling, drug dealers, including any form of bribe, grease money or kotong from analogous illegal sources,” he said.

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