AMID negative public perception that “ninja cops” are working actively in the police force, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año yesterday vowed to go after scalawags and get rid of police officers involved in the recycling of confiscated illegal drugs.
“In our campaign to get rid of scalawags and cleanse the PNP, rest assured that we will remove the ninja cops from the service and we will prosecute them,” Año told reporters in an interview in Camp Crame.
A survey conducted by the Social Weather Station from December 13 to 16, 2019 showed that eight out of 10 Filipinos, or 78 percent, believe there are ninja cops among members of the police force (46 percent strongly believe, 32 percent somewhat believe), while 7 percent do not believe they exist (4 percent somewhat do not believe, 3 percent strongly do not believe). Fifteen percent were undecided.
This resulted in a net belief score (percent of believe minus percentage of do not believe) of +70, correctly rounded.
The SWS likewise indicated that belief in the existence of ninja cops was highest among respondents from Metro Manila at +77 (83 percent believe, 6 percent do not believe), followed by those from Luzon at +71 (77 percent believe, 6 percent do not believe), the Visayas at +69 (77 percent believe, 8 percent do not believe), and Mindanao at +65 (75 percent believe, 10 percent do not believe).
The survey firm also found out that 67 percent believe there are “many ninja cops” in the PNP (23 percent very many “ninja cops,” 44 percent) while 31 percent said there is little to almost no ninja cops (28 percent little, and 3 percent almost none). One percent could not say if there are many ninja cops or a few ninja cops.
Año said the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has a list of ninja cops in the PNP but refused to give additional details such as their specific number and their areas of assignment.
“We have a list but we cannot reveal it but the PNP is into it. Sooner or later, we will neutralize the remaining (ninja cops),” he said.
The DILG-Napolcom has administratively charged 13 ninja cops involved in a sham anti-narcotics operation in Mexico, Pampanga in 2013.
Año said he was not surprised with the result of the SWS survey, pointing out that “that is the result of the Senate investigation. Of course that will be the percent of the people because it’s very fresh but if you will recall, it (Pampanga incident) happened actually six years ago.”
He said: “Whatever the perception is, it may change depending on the result of the investigation. But as far as the PNP organization is concerned, we will make sure to change any (bad) public perception by actions, by deeds.”
Año had a brief comment on the survey result that showed 50 percent of the 1,200 respondents believed that former PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde protected the Pampanga ninja cops: “Well there is an ongoing criminal investigation by the DOJ.”