Alba orders immediate relief of ‘narco cops’ in Central Visayas

By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

December 14, 2022, 6:50 pm

<p>Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) chief Brig. Gen. Roderick Alba <em>(PNA file photo) </em></p>

Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) chief Brig. Gen. Roderick Alba (PNA file photo) 

MANILA – The chief of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) has warned that any member of his unit proven involved in recycling illegal drugs will be relieved.

Brig. Gen. Roderick Alba issued the statement on Wednesday following the arrest of the head of the Metro Manila Southern District head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and two other agents in a raid in Taguig City, and the confiscation of more than PHP9 million worth of shabu which were reportedly being sold right in their office.

Based on his instruction to Deputy Regional Director for Operations Col. Noel Flores, Alba said two immediate actions will be imposed once a policeman is caught recycling drugs.

First is the immediate relief of the entire unit where the errant cop is assigned.

"This is without prejudice to the filing of appropriate charges to the culprit/s and his/her superiors," said Alba.

Second, once two units were relieved in an area or under a mother unit, the Provincial Director, the City Director and the commander of the Regional Mobile Forces Battalion will be recommended for relief from post.

"This directive is effective immediately," he said.

Alba said illegal drug recycling is unacceptable and must be dealt with drastically as policemen are among those entrusted to fight the proliferation of illegal drug in the country.

He said every police officer must serve as their fellow cop's keepers to protect the integrity not only of their unit but the entire PNP as an organization.

"Drug recycling, drug pushing and keeping of drug evidence and other similar acts involving any of our personnel require drastic action under the doctrine of command responsibility," said Alba.

"Our Chief PNP (General Rodolfo Azurin, Jr.) is very clear about this, the PNP should be at the forefront of the campaign against illegals drugs because what is at stake is the future of our youth who are among those affected but also of our country," he added.

For his part, Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. vowed to fight against corruption through the massive internal cleansing program being implemented by the PNP to eliminate all erring cops and scalawags.

Sa mga scalawags, tumigil na kayo, sa mga susunod na araw mayroon kaming ginagawa ukol dito, yung nangyari sa PDEA katulad ng sinabi ko walang perpektong organisasyon pero we are open to cleanse our own ranks. Asahan nyo we will go after them (To the scalawags, stop now, in the next few days we are doing something about this, what happened with PDEA, like I said there is no perfect organization but we are open to cleanse our own ranks. Expect that we will go after them),” Abalos said.

Meanwhile, two “big-time” drug dealers were arrested and three kilograms of shabu worth PHP20.4-million were seized on Tuesday in Taguig City.

In a separate statement on Wednesday, Azurin identified the suspects as Basser Utto and Normina Datuan. They were arrested by operatives of Sub Station 7, Taguig City Police Station who conducted Oplan Sita at around 11:50 a.m. Tuesday along Pendatun Street, corner Old Housing Street in Barangay Maharlika, Taguig City.

Seized from the suspects were shabu packed in 60 sachets (50 grams per sachet) weighing more or less 3 kilograms valued at PHP20.4 million, and a Vios vehicle with plate number EAD 2382.

Utto is the leader of Utto Group criminal gang responsible in the proliferation of illegal drugs in Taguig City and other cities in Metro Manila.

Charges of violation of Section 5 (selling) and Section 11 (possession) of Republic Act 9165 otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 were filed against the two suspects.

“The confiscation of these illegal drugs through Oplan Sita manifests the keen resolve of the PNP in pursuing the national government’s flagship program against illegal drugs. We in the PNP will do our part to free our society from the claws of drug abuse,” Azurin said. (PNA)