Espina orders probe of Taguig cops’ ‘drug ring’
Sandy Araneta, Non Alquitran (The Philippine Star) - December 5, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Leonardo Espina ordered yesterday a thorough investigation of a policeman’s allegations that Taguig City police chief Senior Superintendent Tomas Apolinario and his men are behind the illegal drug trade in the city.

“These are very serious allegations. We will have to dig deeper to see who’s telling the truth,” Espina said.

Espina summoned to the NCRPO office Monday Police Officer 3 Alexander Saez and heard his allegations against Apolinario and members of the Stations Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (SAIDSOTF).

Saez told Espina he already filed a formal criminal complaint against Apolinario and his men before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

For his part, Apolinario appeared before Espina yesterday to air his side on the issue.

Espina formed a body, headed by NCRPO deputy director for administration Chief Superintendent Sonny David, to supervise the investigation of the grave misconduct charges against Apolinario and his men. Espina gave David 30 days to resolve the case.

Espina directed David to get a copy of the criminal complaint filed by Saez before the NBI to be the basis of the administrative case against Apolinario and his men.

David will be assisted by Senior Superintendents Florendo Quibuyen and Arthur Ferlix Asis, the NCRPO’s investigation and personnel division chiefs.

The NCRPO chief said he will make sure that an objective and factual investigation runs its due course to ferret out the truth.


Protective custody

The NBI has taken Saez into protective custody, Daniel Daganzo said yesterday. Daganzo is the chief of staff of NBI deputy director for special investigation services Edmundo Arugay.

“He is seeking protective custody. He was offered protection by the Philippine National Police, but he chose the NBI,” Daganzo said.

Daganzo said Saez turned over some documents the policeman claimed would implicate several Taguig policemen in the activities of a drug syndicate reportedly operating out of the city police headquarters.

NBI investigators said Saez told them that during his assignment as an investigator in the Taguig police’s SAIDSOTF, he and his colleagues were reportedly involved in the recycling of shabu seized from drug suspects.

Daganzo said one of the documents is the purported “unofficial” blotter, which Saez alleged Apolinario and his group used to extort money from drug suspects.

Saez had alleged that the Taguig police station keeps two sets of blotters to cover up the many crimes in Taguig in order to show that the city was orderly and peaceful, Daganzo said.

Daganzo said Saez told them only small cases were listed in the official blotter.

Daganzo said they have taken Saez’s statement but the NBI still needs to verify everything he told them. He said they also need to verify all the documents that Saez has given them.

So far, Daganzo said the NBI has sent subpoenas to several Taguig policemen and witnesses to verify Saez’s accusations.

Saez is reportedly asking to be included in the Witness Protection Program of the Department of Justice. However, his allegations need to be verified first before his application to join the WPP can be approved, the NBI said.

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