“NINJA cops” will likely exploit the death penalty sanction if Congress revives the law, Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said yesterday as he rallied against the return of the capital punishment in the country’s statutes.
Atienza said recent revelations about the continued criminal activities of ninja cops is a good argument against proposals to revive the death penalty because unscrupulous policemen can easily plant evidence to frame up innocent individuals.
“These ninja cops are bound to use the hazard of death sentences to threaten their victims of extortion, if and when Congress brings back capital punishment,” said Atienza, a staunch opponent of death penalty advocates.
Atienza said ordinary citizens will become vulnerable to potential drug evidence-planting and extortion.
“Every citizen is vulnerable to potential drug evidence-planting and extortion by these police scalawags who are illegally hoarding seized drugs, and whose apparent sole motivation is to use their positions of authority to make money for themselves,” he said.
PNP Chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde has been the subject of the inquiry by the Senate Blue Ribbon committee into a questionable drug bust operation carried out six years ago.
Sen. Richard Gordon last week said the Senate blue ribbon and justice committees have collated documentary and testimonial evidence to back allegations linking Albayalde to “agaw-bato” operations of rogue cops previously assigned to Pampanga during the time
that he was the Pampanga police provincial office director.
Gordon earlier claimed that former Central Luzon regional police chief Gen. Rudy Lacadin executed a sworn statement regarding the allegations he hurled during the Wednesday hearing.
Anti-Crime and Terrorism Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) party-list Rep. Eric Yap said both the PNP and the Senate should continue with its investigation to dig deeper into the illegal activities of police scalawags.
“We hope that the investigations will continue and for it out an end to the many issues that were unearthed, starting from the GCTA (Good Conduct Time Allowance) mess in the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor),” he said.
Yap is hoping that the investigations will lead to the filing of appropriate charges against all the officials involved in the alleged recycling of illegal drugs by some police officials and their subordinates.
He said the GCTA issue fizzled out with the resignation of former BuCor chief Nicanor Faldon “and I’m hoping that the same thing will not happen when Gen. Albayalde vacates his post.”
“People should be held accountable for the ninja cops controversy,” said the neophyte lawmaker who chairs the House committee on games and amusement.
Atienza noted that the Dangerous Drugs Act mandates that within 24 hours upon seizure, all illegal drugs have to be delivered to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency’s (PDEA) forensic laboratory for qualitative and quantitative examination.
The PDEA’s forensic laboratory is then required to produce within 24 to 48 hours a sworn certification of examination results under oath.
After the filing of criminal charges in court, the judge, within 72 hours, is then expected to conduct an ocular inspection of the confiscated drugs.
Within 24 hours after the inspection, the court, through the PDEA, is then expected to cause the destruction of the seized drugs, also in the presence of a representative from the media, the DOJ and an elected official.
A sworn certification of the drugs destroyed, along with a preserved representative sample – duly weighed and recorded – is then submitted to the court and kept by PDEA for use as evidence.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said he will submit to President Duterte by Friday this week his recommendation for the next PNP chief.
Año said his list may include the three police generals that Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go had previously mentioned will be included in the short list for the next police chief.
The three that were mentioned by Go were Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar and Lt. Gens. Archie Gamboa and Camilo Cascolan.
“Wala pa (akong nare-recommend). Iyung tatlo na sinabi ni Sen. Bong Go, more or less ay iyun din iyung lalabas sa recommendation ko [None yet. The three mentioned by Sen. Bong Go, more or less will come out in my recommendation],” Año said.
The requirements being considered for the next PNP chief include seniority, merit or reputation, and experience or performance of assignment.
Año said he has been too focused on the DILG’s ninja cops investigation and has not put too much attention on his recommendation list.
On the investigations on the ninja cops, Año said he is waiting for the conclusion of the Senate inquiry to be able to wrap up his own probe.
The President had ordered Año to conduct a separate investigation on the ninja cops and to submit his recommendations, from which Duterte will decide if he will uphold or reject the decision and eventually decide the fate of the ninja cops.
Albayalde, who is set to retire on November 8, has been under fire following the alleged involvement of 13 erring policemen in the recycling and selling of illegal drugs that were seized during a police operation in Mexico in Pampanga in 2013. Albayalde at the time was the Pampanga provincial police chief. – With Jocelyn Montemayor