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Gordon to BI: Ensure that foreigners entering PH not involved in drugs

Aika Rey
Gordon to BI: Ensure that foreigners entering PH not involved in drugs
'Almost all of shabu smuggled into this country come from China, under the control of Chinese nationals. This problem is so serious,' says Senator Richard Gordon

MANILA, Philippines – To reduce drug supply in the country, Senator Richard Gordon said the Bureau of Immigration should make sure foreign nationals who enter the Philippines are not involved in drugs.

Gordon made the recommendation when he sponsored Committee Report 17 before the Senate plenary on Wednesday, November 6, which recommended the filing of criminal charges against resigned top cop Oscar Albayalde and the 13 “ninja cops” tagged in an anomalous anti-drug operations in 2013.

“The Bureau of Immigration must ensure that all those who enter our country are those whose intentions are not criminal or degenerate,” Gordon said in his sponsorship speech.

Gordon, citing previous cases of high profile drug operations, said many of these operators came from China.

He added that Chinese drug lords even “hold court in Bilibid,” making the national penitentiary a “virtual stock exchange of shabu” and Filipinos as their “employees and enablers.”

“For example, the [BI] should look into why there are always Chinese nationals involved in the drug trade,” Gordon said.

“We cannot sit idly by and allow this to happen. Almost all of shabu smuggled into this country come from China, under the control of Chinese nationals. This problem is so serious that this needs more intensive investigation,” he added.

Albayalde’s liability

The interior department on Wednesday said they would be pursuing administrative charges against the 13 “ninja cops,” but Albayalde was not included among the respondents.

Gordon said that despite the former top cop’s resignation, penalties must be imposed on him should the department find him liable for violations.

“Resignation from office is not exemption from liability. If not suspension can be imposed, fines may be imposed chargeable to whatever benefits Albayalde may still get,” Gordon said.

He added that the department should be able to file administrative cases against Albayalde before his reaches mandatory retirement on Thursday, November 8. (READ: Resigned PNP chief Albayalde to still enjoy retirement benefits)

The Senate panels on justice, blue ribbon, and constitutional amendments and revision of codes found that Albayalde and his men violated Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act. At least 19 senators signed the report.

In the committee report, Albayalde was also found to be “guilty” of violating RA No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act when he asked Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Aaron Aquino, who was then the head of Central Luzon police, not to implement the dismissal order against the 13 cops.

President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to name the new chief of the Philippine National Police, choosing from his apparently longer list that includes the 3 generals recommended by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.

“Choose a PNP director general who may not only has a clean record, and one whose stress is the cleaning of the ranks, the reinstitution of proper values, love of the country over self,” Gordon said.

“We can raise the salaries of the PNP, inculcate and focus on value and character-building, but any lofty system we create will crumble from the rot of greed, covetousness, and blind pursuit of power if we do not fortify daily the values of principled leadership,” he said.

The marathon hearings on good conduct time allowance law evolved to a wide range of topics – from the loopholes in the GCTA law, prison reform, the drug kingpins of the New Bilibid Prison, and the involvement of “ninja cops” in illegal drugs.

The issue of “ninja cops” resurfaced on September 19, when retired police general and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong bared in an executive session the involvement of the 13 “ninja cops” in the anomalous operation. Magalong said it was among the examples of drug recycling.  Rappler.com

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.