We join others in rallying behind inquiries by the House and the Senate into alleged complicity of police officers in drug trafficking.
Included beneath the magnifying glass is the theft of seized shabu supplies sold for cash and recycled back into the market.
Which prompted Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel, vice chairperson of the House good government and public accountability committee, to blurt out the Philippines needs a new “hard-hitting independent watchdog” against rampant police corruption and misconduct.
“The illegal drug trade in particular is clearly having a monstrous corruptive influence on police officers, and we must counteract this,” Pimentel said on Sunday.
He added: “Our sense is, we need a tougher watchdog that can swiftly carry out administrative and criminal investigations of police wrongdoing without fear or favor.”
Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers has also expressed full support and agreement with National Police Commission Vice-Chair lawyer Alberto Bernardo on the latter’s findings the PNP system of promotion and performance rating of anti-drug police operatives is seriously flawed.
Barbers, chairman of the House committee on dangerous drugs, said the performance rating is geared towards the number of arrests and seizures, leading to staged, fake and fabricated “accomplishments,” to the detriment of innocent people who languish in jail with trumped up charges.
Barbers fumed: “Imagine, based on these fake accomplishments, the officers kept on being promoted until they are high up in the ladder and can control and influence the organization.
“They have become so accustomed with their illegal activities that they have become a big part of the whole drug syndicate.
“The promotion is just one part, the worst part is the reward, monetary as well as ‘saving’ a huge chunk of the drug haul, as another form of rewarding themselves. This drug haul is called savings and end up being recycled back in the streets.”
The Senate committee on public order has a continuing probe of the 990 kilos of shabu seized in a lending office owned by a former police officer.
The P6.7-billion drug haul’s origin remains unknown because PNP officers supposedly involved in the confiscation could not provide any information.
With the apparent refusal to provide appropriate information, the Senate committee on public order, chaired by Sen. Ronald dela Rosa, cited dismissed M/Sgt. Rodolfo Mayo and his boss, PNP Drug Enforcement Group National Capital Region officer-in-charge Lt. Col. Arnulfo Ibañez, in contempt for not telling the truth.
“We’ve been holding several hearings and Mayo has been very uncooperative – he refused to cooperate with this committee and did not want to say anything. I think it is better if somebody will move to cite him in contempt,” Dela Rosa said in English and Filipino.
Something wrong really.
We must support authorities on the right track.