Probe sought into ‘connections’ of cop in P6.7-B shabu bust

By Zaldy De Layola

March 27, 2023, 5:00 pm

<p>Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers<em> (File photo)</em></p>

Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers (File photo)

MANILA – Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers on Monday urged the Philippine National Police (PNP) to probe the possible coddlers and financiers of Sgt. Rodolfo Mayo Jr. who was arrested in an operation that yielded PHP6.7 billion worth of shabu in Manila in October last year.

Barbers made this call six days after PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. approved the dismissal of Mayo, a member of the PNP Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG) based on the recommendation of the Internal Affairs Service after he was found guilty of grave misconduct and conduct unbecoming of a police officer.

Nais ko, pati na siguro ng taong-bayan, na malaman kung ano na ang latest update sa kaso ni Sgt. Mayo. Alam naman natin na hindi makakagalaw si Mayo mag-isa sa kanyang illegal na gawain (I want, and maybe even our countrymen do, to know the latest update on Sgt. Mayo’s case. We know that Mayo cannot carry out alone these illegal activities),” he said.

“Gusto rin natin malaman kung ang nakumpiskang shabu sa Tondo ay mga naipon sa past anti-drug operations o ang mga ito’y bagong delivery from China (We also wanted to know if the shabu seized in Tondo came from past anti-drug operations or new delivery from China),” he added.

Barbers stressed that while Mayo has a right to due processes of the law, he has not heard an update from the PNP about the status of his administrative or criminal cases except saying “the case is still under investigation” -- five months after he was busted.

He said Mayo is an owner of a lending institution catering to police officers.

“This, despite receiving a monthly salary of only PHP34,079.00. Is he the sole proprietor of his business which many believe is a convenient cover for his illegal drug activities?” Barbers asked.

Azurin earlier said a ranking police official, whom he did not identify and is under investigation, was responsible or acted as backer for bringing Mayo back to PNP-DEG.

PNP-DEG director Brig. Gen. Narciso Domingo earlier said the first buy-bust operation was conducted and resulted in the apprehension of a certain Ney Saligumba Atadero, 50, a resident of Ermita, Manila, and the discovery of 890 kilos of shabu worth PHP6.7 billion.

The shabu haul was reportedly stored inside a money lending office owned by Mayo.

A follow-up operation later led to the apprehension of Mayo who was caught allegedly in possession of 2 kilos of suspected shabu worth PHP13.6 million. Police reports failed to indicate where and what date Mayo was arrested in the follow-up operation.

Domingo said Mayo had no prior derogatory record before he was arrested but Senator Ronald dela Rosa revealed later that Mayo was among the ninja cops, or police officers involved in the illegal drug trade, whom he reassigned to Mindanao in 2016 when he was PNP chief.

Dela Rosa expressed concern how Mayo was reassigned to the PNP-DEG despite his background. Mayo was once recognized the best policeman of the same PNP office.

Mayo was allegedly “re-projected” as PNP-DEG intelligence officer and served during the time of former PNP chiefs Archie Gamboa, Camilo Cascolan, Debold Sinas, Guillermo Eleazar, Dionardo Carlos and Vicente Danao and incumbent PNP chief Azurin. (PNA)