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Albayalde vows to unmask rogue Pasig cops

  • Written by Aflred Dalizon
  • Published in Opinion
  • Read: 219

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BEWARE but I have been hearing the illegal activities of some rogue police officers’ men particularly in Metro Manila who are now using the vaunted PNP Project: Tokhang to extort from civilians, both drug offenders or not, by ‘planting’ drug evidence on their victims and forcing them to cough up huge amounts of money in exchange for non-filing of charges.

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PNP chief General Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa for sure will go hammer and thong against these corrupt policemen and while he is still attending a meeting with his counterparts in Colombia,  I have asked the help of my friend, NCRPO director, Chief Superintendent Oca Albayalde in unmasking these hoodlums in uniform.

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I have heard several incidents in which some Metro Manila policemen have been accused of making Oplan: Tokhang arrests, brutalizing their preys inside police precincts and forcing them to produce a substantial amount for their freedom.  My basketball teammate Albayalde, a no-nonsense classmate of Gen. dela Rosa from PMA ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986 told me he will have those complaints verified and assured that the ax will fall on the guilty ones.

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Another police general informed me of one such incident. The official who also belongs to PMA Class 1986 told me that fellow church-goers of a fruit vendor from Pasig City sought his help in the case of the latter who was allegedly picked-up inside his house by some Pasig City policemen, was taken to a police facility where he was accused of having drugs in his possession, was beaten up terribly and later asked to produce P30,000 in cold cash in exchange for his release.

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The PNP general said that he was informed by the family and fellow church-goers of the unlucky man that the Pasig City policemen who ‘arrested’ him demanded P30,000 for his freedom without any charges. Members of his congregation and some poor relatives from abroad pooled their resources to produce the money a day after his arrest. But when they got the P30,000, the rogues in uniform asked for another P20,000 thinking he has the capability to pay.

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The angry general told me he asked Eastern Police District director, Chief Supt. Mol Sapitula to investigate the incident. Initially, the Pasig City police said no such incident took place and that many Oplan: Tokhang-related arrests have been made by the unit over the past few weeks. However, I was informed that Sapitula and Pasig City police chief, Senior Supt. Orly Yebra eventually discovered what really happened to the poor man and has ordered a full-blast investigation into the case.

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The general said he was aghast after learning that the concerned policemen with the rank of PO1s and PO2s returned only P25,000 of the total P50,000 they got from the victim after learning that their activity has been exposed. The senior official said he doesn’t’ even know if the incident was recorded in the blotter although obviously, the accused would use all available means to justify their actions. I don’t know if the victim actually surrendered as a result of the Oplan: Tokhang but what I know is that the policemen went to his house since his name is in their list. What is tragic here is that the victim and his family and peers would be added to the list of PNP ‘haters’ just because of the misdeeds of a very few.

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Albayalde told me he wants the names of the Pasig policemen involved in the shake-up and vowed to throw the books on them.  If their victim will have the courage to testify against the suspects, I’m sure that these policemen will be fired from the police force and end up behind bars. What is shocking here, according to the police general is that the victim was taken to a police barracks where he was beaten up in the presence of some policewomen and other colleagues.

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If the report is true, then those police personnel are equally guilty of the offense committed by their erring colleagues since they merely tolerated them. Same is true with complaints that some rogues in uniform are ‘planting’ drug evidence on motorcycle riders and other drivers to extort money from their victims. Their favorite targets of course are those who have already Tokhang records but in some cases, even the innocent are not being spared.

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Again, I would say that such activity has no place in the organization. For one, ‘planting of evidence’ carries the penalty of death/life imprisonment in this country. Under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, ‘planting of evidence’ has been described as ‘the willful act by any person of maliciously and surreptitiously inserting, placing, adding or attaching directly or indirectly, through any overt or covert act, whatever quantity of any dangerous drug and/or controlled precursor and essential chemical in the person, house, effects or in the immediate vicinity of an innocent individual for the purpose of implicating, incriminating or imputing the commission of any violation of this Act.’ The offense is also punishable with perpetual disqualification from holding any government office.

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The PNP leadership has made it clear that rogues in uniform have no place in the police organization. This goes in particular to ‘enterprising’ policemen who are taking advantage of the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Campaign Plan called Project: Double Barrel which is actually a two-pronged approach namely Project: Tokhang and Project HVT or High-Value Target. To the uninitiated, Project: Tokhang (knock and persuade) is the lower barrel approach of the PNP being conducted in all drug-affected barangays nationwide thru the coordination of local government units and other stakeholders and law enforcement agencies.

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Since July 1 up to last Thursday, PNP spokesperson, Senior Supt. Dionards Carlos said that the number of armed drug dealers killed in gunbattles with the police has already reached 1,197 with 18,451 others being arrested. Officials said the total number of arrested drug personalities so far is an indication that police are not in the habit of killing drug offenders except when they are confronted with armed suspects and have to defend themselves.

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Since July 1, over a dozen policemen and soldiers have been shot dead by armed and defiant drug traffickers, the latest of them Police Officer 1 Romeo Mandapat, a 24-year-old member of the Caloocan City Police Station who was shot dead by wanted drug dealer Jerson Maturan during an operation in Sampaloc Street, Barangay 178.

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Carlos on Thursday said that 19,106 operations have been conducted by the police across the country including the PNP Oplan: Tokhang which so far has resulted in the voluntary surrender of 717,487 confessed drug personalities composed of 53,294 shabu and marijuana dealers and 664,193 drug users.  The number of houses visited by the police in the wake of the implementation of Oplan: Tokhang is also nearing the 1.2 million mark, the member of PMA Class 1988 told me.

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However, I would say that negative reports like that in Pasig City can quickly overshadow the positive gains in the war versus drugs being made by the entire Pasig City Police Station (I’m very sure that Sapitula and Yebra, both fine products of the PNPA will go after these erring cops) and the whole police organization, much more the sacrifices made by policemen like PO1 Mandapat. This is the reason why I am calling on all victims of similar abusive acts to show their faces and help the PNP leadership arrest, fire and jail these rogues in uniform. If you won’t, there will be no stopping them from again preying on you and even your wife, kids and relatives in the future.