THERE is a blue book that contains names of police officers and government officials allegedly dealing in illegal drugs and stealing cars, Sen. Vicente Sotto 3rd revealed on Friday.
He said he will ask the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to produce it.
According to Sotto, the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs during its hearing on car thefts last May 2015 moved to subpoena the blue book from the DILG to find out what is really in the book but nothing happened because the committee stopped hearings on the issue.
Apart from the names of police and government officials, the blue book also contains names of motor vehicle insurance companies that are in cahoots with syndicates.
The book was reportedly seized by the Philippine National Police (PNP) during a raid in 2011 and was believed to have been turned over to the then-DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo for safekeeping.
It was not clear, however, who had possession of the book after Robredo’s death in August 2012.
Sotto said he believes that the blue book is still with the DILG and he plans to have the department produce it when the 17th Congress begins its session next month.
The incoming majority floor leader noted that the information contained in the book could help the incoming Duterte administration in its campaign against trafficking in illegal drugs and other crimes.
“We will not only revive the hearing but we will call for continuous hearings on the issue.
We can still pursue the issue in the new Congress,” Sotto said in a radio interview.
The senator, however, admitted that he was not able to see the contents of the book during the hearing last year because the DILG did not let him, the reason why he was forced to have the book subpoenaed.
The senator expressed optimism that the Senate would be able obtain the blue book this time with the help of Sen. Panfilo Lacson, incoming chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs.
Clearing their tracks
The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) earlier called on the DILG to release the information contained in the blue book.
The request came after a spate of drug-related killings involving small-time drug pushers.
The VACC wondered why the anti-drug operations launched by police only resulted in the arrest or killing of “small fry,” not the masterminds or heads of the syndicates and their protectors.
At least 58 drug personalities have been killed since May 10, when the anti-drug operations of the PNP began.
The group expressed serious concerns about the possibility that some police officials were just covering their tracks and liquidating their own assets who could link them to the illegal drug trade.
Sen. Gregorio Honasan agreed but he saidthere should be evidence to back up such claims.
Honasan cited incidents in the past wherein police would have their own assets arrested to show that they were doing something especially when the crime rate was high.
“Police have some sort of a pool of police assets whom they can order arrested especially when the crime rate is high,” he said.