“NINJA” cops should be blamed for the repeated failure of law enforcers to arrest the ‘drug’ queen who is behind the trading of recycled illegal drugs, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino said yesterday.
In an interview over dzMM, Aquino said a number of scalawags in the police force, also known as ninja cops, have been protecting the drug queen by giving advance information on when raids or entrapment operations will be carried out by the PDEA or the National Bureau of Investigation.
Aquino recalled that last year, PDEA and NBI agents attempted to entrap and arrest the drug queen with the help of the PNP on at least two separate occasions but the operations turned ended up negative.
“Unfortunately, because of the meddling of ninja cops, our operations and that of the NBI turned out negative. We need the assistance of the PNP so we sat down with the NBI and the PNP during that time. Unfortunately, somehow there’s a ‘snake’ who provided advance information to the enemy,” Aquino said.
Aquino said the PDEA has been pursuing the female drug lord operating in Manila who has been buying “recycled” drugs from law enforcers.
He refused to disclose her name during a Senate hearing so as not to compromise ongoing police operations. “I-neutralize muna namin ang drug queen na ito (We will neutralize this drug queen first),” he told senators on Monday.
PNP deputy spokesman Kimberly Molitas urged Aquino to identify the so-called ninja cops so the PNP can initiate an investigation and file charges against the rogue cops, if evidence warrants.
“We will leave it to the good director general (Aquino) to provide information or evidence he has so that PDEA and the PNP can jointly work on it. On the matter that the (drug) queen is being protected by rogue cops, this is the exact reason why our internal cleansing remains in place, continuing and unrelenting,” Molitas said.
National Capital Region Police Office chief Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar branded Aquino’s claim as unfair, stressing that the PNP has come up with programs against erring cops.
He said Aquino should provide solid evidence against the bad cops and submit these to the PNP so they can start an investigation.
“That’s why it’s unfair to say that recycling is rampant at present because we are closely monitoring the activities of our men. The situation now is different in terms of instilling discipline among our men. But I must admit that there are a few rotten cops who still manage to engage in illegal acts. But to say that it is rampant is far from the truth,” Eleazar said.
Interior Department spokesman Jonathan Malaya echoed Aquino should present evidence to substantiate his claims.
“We do not tolerate those kinds of activities of our men. Well, we respect the opinion of PDEA and we hope that they can immediately arrest those rouge cops because we at the PNP and DILG never tolerate that,” Malaya told radio dzRP.
Aquino said he does not need to identify the ninja cops since the PNP intelligence community knows who they are and all the PNP needs to do is file charges against them so they can be kicked out of the service.
He said internal cleansing is really a must in every law enforcement organization.
Aquino said that about two weeks ago, he ordered a sweep by drug-sniffing drugs of the PDEA National Capital Region barracks after he received information that some of his men were keeping illegal drugs.
He said the dogs reacted positively to traces of illegal drugs in tables, drawers, and cabinets.
“In short there were drug residues there and we will closely monitor that. We will also be strict in our internal cleansing and against the illegal activities of our men because they might be tempted to do wrong due to the big amount of money involved in the illegal drugs trade,” he said.
Last Monday, Aquino disclosed during a Senate hearing on PDEA’s proposed budget for next year that recycling of illegal drugs seized remains rampant due to the presence of scalawags in the law enforcement agencies.