With the resignation of then Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde
, the 13 policemen under him tagged as “ninja cops”
could be in danger, a former ranking police official said Tuesday.
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Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, the former commander of the PNP’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, said the cops should come out in the open and reveal everything about the 2013 drug bust in Mexico, Pampanga, in which they allegedly kept 160 kilos of shabu for reselling.
“I hope that those involved in the 2013 drug bust in Mexico, Pampanga will finally realize they’re on their own and I hope some of them will start talking,” said Magalong, who spilled the beans about the ninja cops during a Senate hearing.
He warned that they could end up dead, like civilian agents who participated in that raid.
“They have to make sure that nothing happens to them. Because only one is in jail, only [Rodney] Baloyo. The rest are still performing functions as policemen or floating status. If you look at the civilian agents involved, all of them are all already dead, they were killed. Anything can happen,” he told a TV interview.
The 13 policemen under Albayalde were reassigned to different parts of Luzon, among then Major Rodney Baloyo, who was posted in Tagaytay City.
Baloyo is currently detained at the New Bilibid Prison after the Senate found him in contempt for lying during a hearing on the ninja cops.
Reports revealed that a Chinese drug lord, Johnson Lee, was arrested following the seizure of the drugs but the policemen set him free in exchange for P50 million.
At present, Magalong said, the 13 ninja cops will not get any protection from any government agency and even from their colleagues in the PNP.
He said they have one option left, which is to apply for witness protection.
Magalong also dismissed Albayalde’s threat of legal action against him, calling this a smokescreen to cover his deception.
In his testimony before the Senate, Magalong said Albayalde had intervened to save the 13 ninja cops from dismissal.
PNP OIC Archie Gamboa said the ninja cops will face other charges arising from the switching of drug suspects and hiding the truth behind the 2013 anti-narcotics operation.
He said the former Pampanga cops are likely to be criminally and administratively charged.
Also on Tuesday, Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles said the ninja cops controversy highlighted the need to strengthen the internal affairs mechanism of the PNP.
Nograles said that under the present set-up, the brotherhood system among members of the PNP has diminished the integrity of the existing internal affairs service amid allegations of a cover-up by top police officials of the wrongdoings of their subordinates.
Nograles said the ongoing Senate probe on so-called “ninja cops” which tagged Albayalde as a protector should now compel Congress to separate the power and authority of the internal affairs service from the sphere of influence of the entire PNP leadership including the director general.
In filing House Bill 3065, Nograles seeks to amend the Republic Act 8551 or Philippine National Police Reform Reorganization act of 1998 to create an Internal Affairs Service that is outside of the PNP chain-of-command.
“The Internal Affairs Service of the PNP is an essential part of the disciplinary mechanism of the PNP. It serves as the monitoring body of the character and behavior of all policemen and operates as the investigating and adjudicatory body on all administrative offenses committed by PNP personnel,” Nograles said in his bill.
“As the office that oversees the conduct of the uniformed personnel, the IAS should be free from influence, pressure and intervention from the chief PNP, and other high-ranking PNP officers in adjudicating administrative cases,” Nograles said.
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