Even PDEA has ‘ninja’ agents, says Aquino

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    ANTI-DRUGS chief Aaron Aquino yesterday said the arrest of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) agent Richard Gaufo for possession of various firearms and 10 grams of suspected shabu is proof that crooked law enforcers exist even in the agency.

    Gaufo, 39, and his companion, Joseph Martin Patrick Borjal, were arrested Saturday afternoon as policemen served a search warrant on Borjal’s residence in barangay Pacita 1 in Sta. Rosa City in Laguna.

    Reports said Borjal was the real target of the search warrant but Gaufo was arrested since he was also present when the operation was conducted.

    Gaufo was formerly assigned in the Calabarzon region but was transferred to the PDEA regional office in the Cordilleras.

    Law enforcers confiscated three guns, bullets, 10 grams of shabu, and a fake PDEA ID card with Borjal’s name from the two suspects.

    Aquino, who disclosed during a Senate hearing that the operations of ninja cops still exist, said charges against Gaufo will be pursued to the full extent of the law.

    “PDEA will continue to support and cooperate with PNP in our campaign against illegal drugs. PDEA also vows to be stricter in the implementation of its internal cleansing to rid the agency of erring employees,” Aquino said.

    Aquino said he will continue to conduct surprise inspections on agents’ belongings at the PDEA headquarters and in the different PDEA offices nationwide to determine who among his men are engaged in illegal activities,.

    Aquino has bared that three weeks ago, drug-sniffing dogs made a sweep of the PDEA-National Capital Region office in Quezon City. The canines reacted positively to traces of illegal drugs as they sat in front of tables, drawers, and cabinets owned by the agents.
    No illegal drugs, however, were recovered but Aquino said there were indications that his agents also kept illegal drugs in the premises.

    DILG: ARREST DRUG QUEEN

    Aquino had told senators that ninja cops continue to be part of the police organization, and have infact been providing protection to a drug queen involved in the trading of recycled illegal drugs.

    Police authorities have named Guia Gomez Castro, a former Manila barangay executive, as the drug queen who has allegedly been bribing rogue cops to sell to her confiscated illegal drugs which she resells to the black market.

    Aquino has said Castro has easily amassed at least P1 billion from her illegal drug trade since 2001.

    The Bureau of Immigration has confirmed that Castro has fled the country.

    Interior Secretary Eduardo Año ordered the PNP to arrest Castro once she returns to the country from her trip abroad.

    In an interview over dzBB, Año said Castro has three standing warrants of arrests issued by local courts, one for violation of the anti-drugs law issued on March 2002 by Judge Emilion Leachon Jr. of the Quezon City Regional Trail Court Branch 224; Añother for violation of BP 22 or the bouncing check law issued on March 2003 by RTC Judge Vorazon RomAño; and Añother violation of the bouncing check law issued on June 2011 by Judge Manuel Sta. Cruz of QCRTC Branch 43.

    Año said the PNP has already coordinated with the International Criminal Police Organization for the issuance of a red notice to other countries to speed up Castro’s arrest and extradition.

    He said they have information as to Castro’s whereabouts but refused to disclose so as not to compromise her extradition.

    “We have an idea where she is right now but I don’t like to identify where as she might be alerted. Let us first allow our counterparts in the Interpol to get the right reports,” Año said.

    Castro won as chairman of barangay 484 in Sampaloc, Manila during last year’s election but did not take her oath of office and went into hiding for fear she might be arrested for her illegal activities.

    Meanwhile, PNP spokesman Bernard Banac said police chief Oscar Albayalde will attend the Senate hearing on October 1, Tuesday, where he has been invited as a resource person by Senate blue ribbon and justice committees chairman Sen. Richard Gordon for the continuation of the investigation of the continued existence of ninja cops in the police force.

    “PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde is all set to attend the Senate hearing to give light on the issue that there are policemen who are still linked to illegal drug activities,” Banac said.

    After the testimonial parade for his honor at the Philippine Military Academy last Saturday, Albayalde said the Senate hearing will give him a better chance to clear the air on the rehashed issue being thrown at him regarding the alleged recycling of illegal drugs by his men when he was provincial director of Pampanga in 2014.

    He said retired Police Brig. Gen. Manuel Gaerlan volunteered to testify before the Senate hearing to clear things up once and for all since Gaerlan was the former deputy regional director for operations who led the investigation at the time the raid on the Mexico municipal police station happened.

    Albayalde was relieved as provincial police director of Pampanga after his men from the Mexico MPS were arrested for alleged recycling of illegal drugs.

    The cases, however, were dismissed in 2017.

    “He (Gaerlan) is willing to testify because he led the investigation so that everybody will be cleared. It will be self-serving if I will be the one to explain during the hearing what really happened to the case. I think somebody has to explain – not me, not them, not anybody else. Maybe someone who is not interested in this case,” Albayalde said.