MANILA, Philippines – A police officer who had gone absent without official leave (AWOL) was arrested after he was caught selling illegal drugs in Muntinlupa City, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said Friday.
The NCRPO identified the suspect as Patrolman Victor Bustamante, who was nabbed in a buy-bust operation conducted on Thursday afternoon.
Recovered from the suspect during the operation includes five grams of suspected shabu, two empty magazines of Glock 9mm pistol, a PNP identification card, and the marked money.
Police said the suspect was formerly assigned to Las Piñas police station but was placed on AWOL status since February this year after being in the police service for eight years.
He was later monitored to be involved in the narcotics trade and was reported to have been conducting “Oplan Sita” in the area even when he is no longer on active duty.
Bustamante allegedly threatens drug peddlers and take from them their money and packet drugs, prompting the authorities to launch the operation.
“Base doon sa impormasyon na ni-relay sa atin eh nagsasagawa siya ng sariling operation. Nag-uuniporme pa at doon sa area nila, nagko-conduct ng tinatawag nating Oplan Sita,” NCRPO director Police Major General Guillermo Eleazar said.
The suspect will be facing charges for violation of the Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has clarified that the directive on road clearing operations applies to all local government units (LGU) nationwide.
“No local government is exempted from the directive. We are just giving extra attention to Metro Manila because the problem of road obstructions is most acute in the National Capital Region (NCR) but the memorandum circular covers the entire country,” he said.
DILG Spokesperson Usec. Jonathan E. Malaya said President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) about “reclaiming public roads which are being used for private ends” covers the entire country and not just in the National Capital Region (NCR).
Malaya also said DILG officers in provinces should meet with their mayors to discuss the said directive.
“We expect all DILG field officers in the provinces to immediately meet with their respective mayors to brief them on the guidelines issued by Secretary Año on the implementation of the President’s SONA directive and to ensure their compliance,” he said.
He also added that LGUs outside Metro Manila may also be recommended for suspension to the President if no significant improvement is seen in their respective areas after the lapse of 60 days.—AAC
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