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Unmasking of drug-using cop reason why Oplan: Tokhang should continue -- Eleazar

  • Written by Alfred P. Dalizon
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 710

QUEZON City Police District director, Senior Superintendent Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar, said yesterday cases like that of a drug-using Taguig City cop who has been unmasked by his men in the conduct of the PNP Oplan: Tokhang is one of the main reasons why the program ordered by Philippine National Police chief, Director General Ronald “Bato” M. dela Rosa should continue.

Eleazar referred to the case of Police Officer 3 Liberato ‘Levy’ Calda of the Taguig City Police Station who is now undergoing administrative investigation after he tested positive for shabu during a drug test conducted by the Q.C. Crime Laboratory Office.
   
The official also underscored the important role being played by the barangay in their effort to address illegal drug trafficking and abuse in the city. “We have been receiving accurate information from barangay officials regarding the suspected drug users and dealers in their communities and this has been proven anew in the case of PO3 Calda,” he said.
   
National Capital Region Police Office director, Chief Supt. Oscar D. Albayalde, has ordered a thorough investigation of Calda following the QCPD operation. “We will not tolerate nor favor police officers involved in illegal drugs. We strictly observe fairness and objectivity in drug-related operations and investigations,” the QCPD director said after being ordered by Albayalde to see to it that charges will be filed against any erring cops.
   
The member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Hinirang’ Class of 1987 also underscored the major importance of the PNP Oplan: Tokhang. “Accurate information being fed to us by barangay officials in relation to Oplan: Tokhang is undeniably a clear manifestation of the high trust and confidence given by the community to the police more than ever before,” he said.
   
Oplan: Tokhang (a Visayan word for Tok-tok (knock) and Hangyo (plead) is being pursued by the police nationwide on orders of Gen. dela Rosa. The plan calls for the police to knock on the doors of suspected drug personalities in their areas and gently persuade them to yield to the PNP and sign an affidavit of undertaking that they will not return to their illicit drug activities.
   
PNP records showed that since July 1, nearly 627,000 confessed drug users and pushers have yielded to the police in line with the Oplan: Tokhang implementation. In Metro Manila, Albayalde said nearly 41,000 drug personalities have already surrendered since the start of their July 1 operations which have also resulted in the killing of 281 armed drug dealers in the metropolis during gunbattles with the police and the arrest of 3,682 others. Albayalde said they have also seized around P1.7 billion worth of shabu and other dangerous drugs.
   
For the record PO3 Calda has become the first policeman to be accounted for by the PNP in the wake of the stepped-up implementation of Oplan: Tokhang.
   
On Sunday last week, Calda turned himself over to the QCPD Station 6 in Batasan, Q.C. after local policemen conducting Oplan: Tokhang knocked on the door of his house not knowing that he is also a fellow police officer, said Eleazar.
   
“He (Calda) was No. 68 in the Station 6 watchlist and my men last August 18 knocked on his door and persuaded him to give up not knowing he is also a policeman since his rank was not indicated on the list. He literally was a neighbor to the QCPD Station 6 personnel,” the official said.
   
Eleazar said that around 9:30 a.m. last August 28, , PO3 Calda surfaced at the office of QCPD Station 6 commander, Supt. Lito Patay to clear his name about his inclusion on the station’s drug list. The Taguig City policeman also claimed he is not involved in any illegal drug activities and even suspected that a barangay official fed the police with the wrong information about him.The policeman said that he is feuding with the barangay official over a contested land ownership.
   
When the policeman claimed he had stopped using drugs three months ago, Supt. Patay asked him to take a drug test using a portable drug testing kit in his office. During the examination, PO3 Calda’s urine specimen tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu.
   
Calda was then escorted to the QCPD Crime Laboratory for an official screening, which again proved positive, said Eleazar. The Taguig policeman’s urine specimen has been sent to the PNP Crime Laboratory for a confirmatory test.
   
If the specimen will again test positive, Eleazar said they will recommend the pre-charge evaluation for summary dismissal proceedings against Calda for Conduct Unbecoming of a Police officer, a grave administrative case which calls for dismissal from the service.
   
Calda entered the police service thru the PNP Special Action Force in 1997 and left the elite unit in 2002. In 2003, he was transferred to the Taguig City Police Station and held various positions in the station SWAT unit, its intelligence division and Police-Community Precincts. His latest assignment was at the Taguig Police-Community Precinct 5 in Ibayo Tipas as a beat patroller.
   
Eleazar said that as of yesterday, 7,450 confessed drug traffickers and users in Q.C. have already surrendered as a result of Oplan: Tokhang. He said that 850 others were arrested while 59 were killed in anti-narcotics operations. So far, Eleazar said that QCPD men have already knocked on the houses of 9,781 suspected drug personalities in Q.C.
   
At least 130 policemen across the country have tested positive for substance abuse and are now facing administrative charges which could merit their dismissal.