PNP invokes 'rights' as Senate allows naming of 'ninja cops'

MANILA, Philippines – The tables are turned and it is now police personnel allegedly involved in illegal drugs who will be named in public. Immediately, the Philippine National Police (PNP) requested on Tuesday, September 24, that the Senate respect the rights of their members.


"Let the axe fall where it may. We bow to the discretion of the Senate if it so desires to make public the names of PNP members whom it tags as 'ninja cops,'" the Philippine National Police said in a statement sent by its spokesman Brigadier General Bernard Banac.

It added: "We request, however that the Senate exercise due diligence in protecting the rights of these persons against undue persecution." 

The PNP's request about "protecting rights" and concern on "undue persecution" were similar issues expressed when a so-called narco list were published by law enforcers.

Why the call? Earlier on Monday, September 23, the  Senate authorized the blue ribbon and justice committees to publish information from the September 19 executive session that tagged high-ranking cops in drug recycling.

With the authority given, it was now up to blue ribbon chair Senator Richard Gordon to release the names.

The names were supposedly provided by former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group or CIDG chief and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong during the closed-door session.

Double standards? The PNP's request was inconsistent with its long-standing policy with regards to going public with lists naming people as allegedly involved in illegal drugs.

Repeatedly, the PNP supported and allowed the publicizing of names on drug lists during the beginning of the Duterte administration, before the 2018 barangay elections, and just before the 2019 midterm elections. (READ: Albayalde to officials on drug list: Winning polls won't clear your name)

"The PNP only has the best interest of justice, fairness and good governance in uncovering the truth behind the alleged involvement of cops in recycling drug evidence," it closed its statement. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.