A newly-retired policeman tagged as a ‘‘ninja cop” and having direct links to at least to more police officers in the recycling of illegal drugs was killed by police operatives in a buy-bust operation in Novaliches, Quezon City, Monday.
The Philippine National Police-Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group identified the slain former lawman as Cpl. Tirso Agustin Lactaotao, 48, an ex-intelligence operative assigned to the Rizal Provincial Police Office.
He was killed by joint IMEG operatives from the National Capital Region Police Office and lawmen from Rizal province as he drew his gun after sensing that his client was an operative.
“The operation resulted in an armed encounter when the subject Lactaotao, upon sensing that he was dealing with a PNP poseur buyer, suddenly drew his gun and fired toward the operatives, prompting them to defend themselves and fire back, hitting the suspect in the different parts of his body,” an after-operation report by IMEG read.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police said Monday it was monitoring 22 active police officers allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade.
“For now, we are monitoring 22 of our colleagues but so far, it seems they have stopped from their illegal activity,” PNP spokesman Bernard Banac told reporters in Camp Crame.
“However, we will still continue monitoring them because if we see that they are violating the law again, we will launch law enforcement operations against them. We will not hesitate to catch them and hold them liable for violating the rules and policies of the PNP.”
The IMEG said the operation was the initial result of Intelligence drive that is being implemented against the involvement of Lactaotao and other police personnel in the recycling/pushing of illegal drugs.
Recovered from the slain policeman were one cal. .9mm Beretta pistol, assorted Identification cards from the PNP, PDEA, AMSLAI, PSSLAI, three empty shells, two pieces of P1,000 buy-bust money, seven sachets of suspected shabu and two cellphones.
The IMEG said the intelligence build-up showed that Lactaotao had long been involved in illegal drugs in Rizal province and nearby provinces.
PNP-IMEG spokesperson Maj. Robert Reyes said they were now tracking down other police officers linked to the illegal activities and operations of Lactaotao. With PNA