2 drug suspects fall in buy-bust ops in Cavite

Robie de Guzman   •   July 5, 2019   •   785

Two suspected drug peddlers were arrested by authorities in a buy-bust operation conducted in Cavite on Thursday night (July 4).

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) identified the suspects as Ato Labing Kasim, 30 and Jubaire Mohammad Kitab, 21.

PDEA said that Kasim and Kitab are allegedly linked to a Chinese drug lord, currently detained at the New Bilibid Prisons, who operates in parts of Metro Manila, Tacloban and Cavite. The alleged drug lord is also said to be operating in Mindanao with the help of a former mayor.

“Itong si Ato Kasim, may direct link kay Butokan Kendong na taga-Cotabato. Ito naman si Botokan Kendong, may direct link kay Montaser Sabal na amo din nito na former Mayor ng Talitay, Magindanao,” said Levi Ortiz, PDEA Special Enforcement Service Director III.

“Now these people, ang drugs kinukuha nila sa Chinese source na naka-detain ngayon sa Muntinlupa,” Ortiz added.

Recovered from the suspects were around one kilogram of shabu (crystal meth), which is estimated to worth nearly P7 million, and two vehicles allegedly used for drug transactions.

The suspects have denied the allegations.

“Hindi po namin kilala ‘yan, si Montaser Sabal,” Kasim said.

“Hindi ko po alam na mayroon pong droga sa ilalim ng upuan po ng sasakyan kasi ‘pag pinagpa-drive po ako, binibigyan ako P500 pamasahe pauwi,” Kitab said.

PDEA said the two suspects will face charges for violation of Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. (with details from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Magalong, Aquino fear for security of own families due to heightened death threats

Maris Federez   •   October 4, 2019

PDEA chief Dir. Gen. Aaron Aquino (L) and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong (R)

 “Wala lang galawan ng pamilya o kaya they just have to make sure that na ‘pag may ginawa siya sa ‘kin eh, I will not survive otherwise all hell will break loose.”

(Just don’t touch my family or they just have to make sure that when they do something to me, I will not survive otherwise all hell will break loose. )

This was what Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong had to say on the threats he has been receiving left and right in the past week.

The former chief of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) also confirmed that he received a piece of A1 or top quality information on Thursday (October 3) on the purported plans of those who want to hurt him.

 “Tinext na agad ako noong security ko tinext na rin siya ng isang gun for hire na, yung kilala niyang gun for hire eh may kumausap na raw at pinag kuwan ako (My security texted me as he received a message of one gun-for-hire whom he knew. The gun-for-hire said someone has talked to him already and wants me dead). I just have to, you know, be conscious with my security lalong lalo na sa aking family (especially of my family),” Magalong said.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Dir. Gen. Aaron Aquino, on the other hand, said that he is already used to receiving death threats.

He, however, believes that the threats he is receiving now are more serious, which prompted him to also strengthen the security for his family.

Natambangan ako ng (I had been ambushed) four times already. I even sold one of my small houses dahil kinasing na ako doon (because I had been monitored there). But the threat has intensified recently,” Aquino recounted.

All these stemmed from their expose on the 2013 agaw-bato incident in Pampanga that involved 13 police officers who allegedly engaged in recycling or reselling of illegal drugs that they confiscated from an anti-drug operation in Pampanga in 2013.

These police officers were under PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde when he was still the chief of Pampanga Provincial Police.

Aquino said that although he has no regrets doing what he did, he had to consult his family first before he made his move.

Sabi nila (They said) the truth will set you free. Sabi nila (They said) ‘Daddy, papa tell the truth,’” Aquino added.

Mayor Magalong, meanwhile, said he received messages from several police officers after Thursday’s Senate hearing.

“Thank you, sir, for standing and speaking up for the truth. We are carefully listening to all of the resource persons’ testimonies and honestly, sir, we are really demoralized,” Magalong quoted some of the messages. (from the report of Grace Casin) /mbmf

PDEA chief retracts, says Albayalde asked him not to enforce order vs 13 ‘ninja cops’

Robie de Guzman   •   October 4, 2019

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino has admitted that Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde had asked him not to enforce the dismissal order against 13 Pampanga policemen who were tagged as ‘ninja cops.’

Aquino earlier said in a previous Senate hearing that Albayalde called him in 2016 to ask about the status of the case against the cops.

The 13 cops were ordered dismissed for their alleged involvement in a controversial anti-drug operation.

Albayalde, who was then the head of Pampanga provincial police, was relieved from his post for command responsibility.

In a hearing Thursday, the PDEA chief claimed that in the same phone conversation, Albayalde requested him not to implement the order.

“General Albayalde called me up to know that status of the case of (Police Supt. Rodney) Baloyo and others, it’s the truth. He also added during the same request and I quote: ‘Sir, baka puwede niyo munang hindi i-implement ang order.’ Then I asked him, ‘Bakit Oca?’ Where he answered ‘Kasi mga tao ko sila,’” Aquino said.

The dismissal order for the 13 alleged ‘ninja cops’ were issued on Nov. 14, 2014 but it was only in March 2016 that the accused received a copy of the order and were able to file for a motion for reconsideration.

A decision partially granting the cops’ plea was issued in Oct. 17, 2017.

Albayalde, however, denied Aquino’s claim and maintained that he only asked for the status and did not intervene in the case.

He also expressed willingness to reopen the investigation on the case.

“You cannot implement a dismissal while the MR is ongoing. That’s basic,” he said.

“Walang nag-iba sa desisyon. That call for the status is pretty normal,” he added.

In response to Albayalde’s denial Aquino said, “Maybe, he cannot recall what he said. Pero ‘yun ang nare-recall ko na nasabi niya sa akin.”

Following his revelation on ‘ninja cops’ issue, Aquino told the Senate panel he has been receiving death threats targeting his family.

“I was thinking of my family who is now put in much deeper danger. A few days ago, I received a phone call from my friend who confirmed that some personalities are plotting against my family,” he said.

Former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief and now Baguio City Mayor Benajmin Magalong also previously revealed he has been getting death threats after he named several cops allegedly engaging in the scheme of recycling or reselling illegal drugs seized during operation.

“His family is in danger so ganun din ang nangyayari sa akin ngayon. Kung ano ang nangyayari kay General Magalong ganun din nangyayari sa akin,” Aquino said.

Among those tagged as ‘ninja cops’ were Baloyo, Senior Insp. Joven de Guzman, Senior Police Officers 1 Jules Maniago, Donaldo Roque, Rommel Vital, Ronald Santos, Eligio Valeroso, Alcindor Tinio, Police Officers 3 Romeo Guerrero Jr., Dante Dizon, Dindo Dizon, Gilbert de Vera and Police Officer 2 Anthony Lacsamana.

The 13 police officers are currently on floating status. – RRD (with details from Correspondent April Cenedoza)

Albayalde still has Duterte’s trust despite drug recycling controversy – Palace

Marje Pelayo   •   September 26, 2019

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (R) and National Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde (L) review honor guards during the 117th Philippine National Police (PNP) police service anniversary in Quezon City, Philippines, 08 August 2018. EPA-EFE/STR

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte maintains his trust on Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde despite allegations of involvement in illegal drug recycling controversy.

“Until such time as the President says otherwise, he remains in full trust and confidence of the commander-in-chief,” Palace spokesperson Salvador Panelo said, referring to Albayalde, in a briefing following the Chief Executive’s meeting with the PNP chief and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino.

This was the Palace’s response to controversies hounding the police official on his alleged links with policemen who recycle confiscated illegal drugs from drug suspects.

According to Panelo, Albayalde already reported to the President that the alleged syndicate of ninja cops was already disbanded during the time of former PNP Chief and now Senator Ronald Dela Rosa.

What remained, Panelo said, were only police scalawags involved in corruptions and various operations involving illegal drugs.

“Ang difference daw is iyong ninja cops was a syndicate (The difference was the ninja cops were part of a syndicate),” Panelo said.

“Kumbaga talagang may conspiracy, may mga link ang bawat isa. Pero itong mga police scalawags, kaniya-kaniya… kaniya-kaniyang kita (They said there was a conspiracy going on. They have established links. But these police scalawags are working individually),” he added.

Malacañang maintains that the ongoing internal cleansing among the ranks of the PNP, as well as the Duterte Administration’s anti-drug war, remains effective.

Proof to this are the arrests made on 124 police scalawags in entrapment operations.

Meanwhile, Panelo said, it is still up to the President to decide on whether or not to divulge the names of PNP personnel allegedly involved in illegal drugs operations. — MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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