Dela Rosa says 'ninja cops' list should be made public

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Senator Ronald dela Rosa said on Tuesday, September 24, the list of policemen involved in the illegal drug trade should be made public, just like how the government did it with the narcopoliticians list.

Dela Rosa supported the idea of releasing the names of the cops involved in "drug recycling," which was supposedly bared by retired policeman and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong to some senators in an executive session.

"Yes, mas maganda na isapubliko. 'Yung nasa drugs na watch list na congressmen, isinapubliko natin, ba't hindi itong mga pulis?" Dela Rosa said in a media interview.

(Yes, it's better if it will be made public. If the congressmen part of the drug watchlist was made public, why not the cops then?)

Dela Rosa said that cops should "serve and protect" the people and not the drugs lords nor the illegal industry.

Albayalde 'not involved'

In an earlier interview with radio DZMM, Senate Minority Franklin Drilon said a "high-ranking" police officer appeared to be protecting "narco cops," as mentioned by Magalong during the executive session.

"Walang sinabi na kumita or directly kasabwat itong opisyal na 'to. [It was] either negligence or loyalty to his men, hindi po naparusahan," Drilontold DZMM.

(There was no mention of this official earning or directly conniving. It was either negligence or loyalty to his men, who were left unsanctioned.)

Earlier on Tuesday, Philippine National Police chief General Oscar Albayalde defended himself from "insinuations," calling it part of "internal politics."

He said the drug recycling issue was a "recycled" one, despite Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Aaron Aquino's admission that it was "still rampant."

Albayalde was sacked from his post in 2014 over a drug-related operation conducted by cops in Mexico town in Pampanga.

Dela Rosa on Tuesday cleared Albayalde of any drug links, saying that the 2014 incident was merely because of "command responsibility."

Dela Rosa vouched for Albayalde's record: "I am betting my neck sa tao na 'yan. Isusugal ko ang aking pagkatao d'yan sa kaniya. That's why inilagay ko sya as RD ng NCRPO because I have high regard sa kaniya."

(I put my neck on the line for him. I will gamble my integrity on him. I placed him as regional director of the National Capital Region Police Office because have a high regard for him.)

Dela Rosa, who was not at the executive session, said that Albayalde was not on Magalong's list when the latter was still in service.

"Kung bago na 'yun (list), hindi ko alam ang iba. If it's the same, nung active pa siya sa serbisyo, nakita ko na rin 'yun…. Wala siya (Albayalde) doon sa pinag-usapan namin," Dela Rosa said.

(If the list is new, I don't know who were the others named on it. If it's the same list he had when he was still active in service, I already saw it.... Albayalde was not part of that list.) 

In another interview, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go said that President Rodrigo Duterte was "cross validating" the list with the intellgence community and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and that he himself would make this public.

"Pinapapa-cross [validate] ni Pangulo ang lahat ng 'yan lalo na po itong nabalitaan niyang ninja cops na sangkot sa pagre-recycle ng droga. Sabi 'nya kailangan malaman ng publiko and soon, I think, he would personally announce," Go told reporters. 

(The President is having the names cross validated, especially those tagged as 'ninja cops' who are involved in drug recycling. He said that the public needs to know and soon, I think, he would personally announce this.)

Asked whether there the President was eyeing a PNP revamp, Go said that Albayalde was set to retire in November anyway, so with the "definite" assumption of a new top cop, there would changes down the line. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.

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