By Aaron Recuenco
A police colonel and three other cops have been reassigned to a holding center at Camp Crame in Quezon City after they were implicated in the illegal drugs operations in the country.
In the case of Senior Supt. Leonardo Suan, his supposed assignment to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) was stopped after his name cropped up in the drug matrix of President Duterte.
Aside from Suan, ordered to be held at the Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit (PHAU) were Senior Insp. Lito Pirote from Central Luzon; Insp. Caragdag Jr. of Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR); and SPO4 Alejandro Liwanag of the Cagayan Valley Regional Police.
Chief Supt. Benigno Durana, spokesman of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said they no longer have a hold on two other police officials since one of them was already retired while the other one was dismissed from the service.
Retired general Ismael Fajardo became an official of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) after his retirement while Senior Supt. Eduardo Acierto was dismissed from the service in August this year due to a case involving the questionable registration of more than 1,000 AK-47 rifles which ended at the hands of the New People’s Army (NPA).
The name of Fajardo and Acierto cropped up in the course of the investigation on the smuggling of P6.8 billion worth of shabu which were hidden inside imported magnetic lifters.
“So far, there were no cases filed against them yet. But since their names were already made public, definitely an investigation, not only counter, but an investigation will look into that report,” said Durana.
It was recalled that on Wednesday, President Duterte disclosed a drug matrix implicating the two former policemen and four active policemen.
“This investigation will give them due process since an intelligence information is inadmissible in court. But definitely, a case build up and thorough investigation is in motion right after we relieved based on the order of the Chief PNP (Director General Oscar Albayalde),” said Durana.
The PNP leadership, on the other, would not confirm the involvement of the four cops in the drug trade, saying it is still a subject of a thorough investigation.
The reason why they were placed under PHAU, according to Durana, is to do away with wrong impressions that they are coddling the four active cops.
“We are not in a position to say they are really involved, there are associations and there are intelligence reports, counterintelligence report, derogatory reports that may create an impression that they may have gone overboard,” said Durana.
“As a preemptive measure, they were immediately relieved and a process of validation and thorough investigation was initiated,” he added. (Aaron Recuenco)