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‘Azurin not yet off the hook on P6.7 billion shabu’

Cecille Suerte Felipe - The Philippine Star
âAzurin not yet off the hook on P6.7 billion shabuâ
Lt. Gen. Rodolfo Azurin, Jr.
PNP PRO-1

MANILA, Philippines - Former Philippine National Police chief Rodolfo Azurin is not yet off the hook on possible liability in the lapses involving 990 kilos of shabu valued at P6.7 billion that were seized from a lending office of a PNP officer in Manila last October, Sen. Ronald dela Rosa said yesterday.

“(Azurin) is not yet off the hook,” Dela Rosa told Senate reporters, noting that at least three low-ranking police officers indicated their intention to tell the truth and what they know about almost a ton of shabu seized from M/Sgt. Rodolfo Mayo.

Dela Rosa is chairman of the Senate committee on public order.

“Almost there, but not yet (of getting a clear picture of Azurin’s knowledge in the arrest of Mayo). So that’s the state. Unless, at the next hearing, (BGen Narciso) Domingo says that General Azurin really had an instruction or clearance to hide Mayo, or not to charge him,” Dela Rosa said in Filipino.

“But then again, we only have an attempted cover-up there because there was no consummated cover-up because Mayo has already been charged,” he added.

“But in our previous hearings, we have clarified what General Azurin’s exact instruction is. And Azurin also confirmed that his clearance was given. If Mayo said that the PNP chief already knew about it [990 kilos of shabu] when conducting the follow-up operation… that’s what the chief PNP has clearance for, not the hiding of Mayo,” he explained.

The senator also admitted the possibility that charges against Mayo might be dismissed due to technicality as reports had it that the police officer was initially reported arrested in a sting operation but further investigation showed he was already handcuffed when he was brought to his rented building where the shabu was seized.

After several public hearings of the Senate committee on public order into the 990 kilos of shabu, the origin of the P6.7-billion drug haul remains unknown because police officers supposedly involved in the confiscation did not provide any information.

With the apparent refusal to provide appropriate information during the Senate inquiry on Tuesday, Dela Rosa’s committee cited Mayo in contempt along with his boss, Police Drug Enforcement Group’s Lt. Col. Arnulfo Ibanez, and five other police officers, whom the senators claimed were not telling the truth.

“After several hearings, Mayo was very uncooperative, he refused to cooperate with this committee and did not want to say anything. I think it is better if somebody will move to cite him in contempt,” Dela Rosa said.

RODOLFO AZURIN

Philstar
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