SEN. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Friday said President Rodrigo Duterte was willing to offer a reward to those who would give information about “ninja cops.”
“Nabanggit po ni Pangulong Duterte kagabi na sa kung sinuman ang makakapagbigay ng impormasyon sa mga ninja cops na involved sa ilegal na droga ay magbibigay siya ng reward. Nabanggit niya sa speech niya na P1 million po for dead, P500 thousand po ‘pag alive at P2 million po ‘pag nanlaban (President Duterte mentioned last Thursday night that he was willing to give rewards to those who could give information on policemen linked to the illegal drug trade. He cited in his speech a P1 million reward for a dead ‘ninja’ policeman, P500,000 for a live ninja policeman and P2 million for a policeman who opts to fight back),” he added.
Go said Filpinos were entitled to know the truth about ninja (rogue) police officers and men who recycle crystal meth, or shabu, and other illegal drugs they seize in legitimate police operations.
The ninja cops were first mentioned by Benjamin Magalong, former chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP)-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and now Baguio City mayor, during a Senate inquiry into anomalies in the country’s correctional facilities, particularly at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.
A list of the rogue policemen has already been provided by the Senate Blue Ribbon and Justice Committees headed by Sen. Richard Gordon to the President.
Go said the identities of these rogue policemen must be revealed.
The lawmaker said he still trusts PNP chief Oscar Albayalde, adding that he was sure that Albayalde was not part of the issue.
“I still believe in General Albayalde po. In-appoint po siya ng Pangulong Duterte as chief ng PNP at maganda naman po ang kanyang naging track record (I still believe in General Albayalde. His good track record led President Duterte to appoint him as PNP chief),” Go said.
He pointed out that he still trusts the PNP for as long as it continues to weed out illegal drugs, corruption and criminality from within their ranks.
“In fairness po sa mga pulis na matitino, malaki ang tiwala ko. Karamihan sa kanila, majority sa kanila ay matitino at maayos po. Mahihirapan si Pangulo sa kanyang kampanya laban sa korapsyon, kriminalidad at iligal na droga kung hindi po sa tulong ng pulis. Kaya kailangan ang pulis natin malinis at respetado (In fairness to the police, there are many who are professionals and their records clean. The President would fail in his campaign against corruption, crime and illegal drugs if the public does not support the police),” he explained.
He added that he would continue supporting the Duterte administration and work hand-in-hand with the President in fulfilling the latter’s promise of providing positive change in the lives of every Filipino.
His declaration came after a quarterly poll of 1,200 Filipinos conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed a rating of “excellent” for Duterte’s three-year campaign, with 82 percent satisfied, perceiving less drugs and crime in the country.
The SWS survey also showed that 86 percent of Filipinos rated their lives positively in the last quarter of 2018.
As a result, Filipinos and their children are safe walking on the streets, particularly during nights, said Go.
Meanwhile, Albayalde said he would attend a Senate hearing on the ninja controversy if invited by the Gordon committees.
PNP spokesman and Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, in a statement, confirmed that the PNP chief was ready to face the Senate hearing to shed light on the issue.
On Thursday, Albayalde said he had submitted to President Duterte a list of 762 police officers allegedly linked to illegal drugs.
The list was based on the record of PNP-Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group.
Based on the PNP intelligence report, 22 policemen are under monitoring for recycling of seized drugs.
Albayalde admitted the controversy has affected the morale of the policemen.
He, however, said, “Maybe, only 1 or 2 percent in the police force has tainted the good image of the organization (PNP).”
WITH REPORT FROM DARWIN PESCO