Albayalde relieves 4 of 7 cops tagged in illegal drugs network

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MANILA – Four of the 7 Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel allegedly tagged in the “enormous” illegal drugs network in the country have been relieved from their posts, PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said Monday.

Albayalde said the identities of the six officials and the other non-official policeman have been released by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), where police personnel assigned to the PNP-Drug Enforcement Group have already been relieved from their positions to give way to fair investigation.

Of the 7 policemen in the PDEA list, 4 officials and one non-official are in the active service, 2 officials have already been dismissed.

Of the four officials in active service, Albayalde said one is on floating status, while the other cop assigned in Region 5 (Bicol) was also relieved from his post.

“Nung nakuha natin ‘yung pangalan na binanggit sa atin ng PDEA ay ora-orada ko po pina relieve ko sa kanilang post yung tatlo o apat na nka assign sa drug enforcement group ng PNP, yung isa naman nasa floating status at ‘yung isa, (kung) di ako ngkakamali nasa Region 5 naka assign, so as of this time naka relieve na po yan sa mga post,”  Albayalde said in a radio interview over Radyo Pilipinas.

He added that although these are all allegations with no pieces of evidence yet, they were relieved because the PNP wants a fair investigation.

“Magtatagal more or less one to four months, after one month kung magkaroon ng probable cause fa-filan sila ng kaso, magkakaroon ng pre charge evaluation, pagkaraang makakita ng probable cause ay haharap sila sa summary hearing procedure.” he explained.

Asked if there is a counter intelligence report from the PNP since the list came from PDEA, Albayalde said the “names even floated when one of the dismissed officials appeared in the Senate.”

On Sunday, a very reliable source of the Philippine News Agency (PNA) said the police officials had reportedly served in different anti-drug groups of the PNP under previous administrations but the same personalities were “appointed and recruited” in the restructured PNP-Drug Enforcement Group tasked to carry out President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs.

“People being appointed and recruited into these organizations were the same personalities; creating pool of agents and personnel who are mostly corrupt and have already created networks with different drug lords across the country and abroad,” the PNA source said.

Among the two dismissed officials, described as one of the PNP’s anti-narcotics stalwarts, was involved in the 2011-2013’s anomalous procurement of 1,004 AK-47 which eventually landed in the possession of the New People’s Army.

The official, who previously took the helm at the Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (AIDSOTF), was removed from government service due to various anomalies. He is regarded as among the senior officers of the PNP who spent most of his career in anti-narcotics operations.

“However, he also earns the reputation of amassing wealth by recycling the drugs that have been confiscated and even earning substantial amount of money through extortion from apprehended suspects especially Chinese nationals,” the source said.

The source added that the dismissed official’s group is also allegedly known in fabricating stories and planting pieces of evidence particularly drugs which were recycled from various operations.

The illegal network also involved a Bureau of Customs (BOC) official and sic other police officials, including the dismissed official’s protégé, known in the community as a “scorer” or one who delivers accomplishments. The group also involved a senior police officer.

“Enormous network of powerful people and sophisticated modus are utilized to protect and continuously carry out unscrupulous activities under the guise of legitimate law enforcement operations,” the source said.

Most of the officials, the source added, were officials under the Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (AIDSOTF) established in 2003.

The BOC official, on the other hand, is described as an “influential force” in the bureau.

The source said narcotics industry has reached an unimaginable sphere of influence all over the country.

From 1983 to 2017, there were four organization re-structuring made within the PNP anti-drugs unit: Narcotics Command (NARCOM) was created in 1983; Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (AIDSOTF) was established in 2003 following the enactment of Republic Act 9165 that created the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA); Philippine National Police-Anti Illegal Drugs Group (PNP-AIDG) was eventually formed as a permanent PNP anti-narcotics unit in 2015; and in 2017, the Philippine National Police-Drug Enforcement Group (PNP-DEG) was activated after the PNP-AIDG was dissolved when some of its members got involved in the killing of Korean national Jee Ick Joo inside the national police headquarters. -PNA

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