No ''ninja cops'', but scalawags, says Palace, quoting Albayalde
There are no more "ninja cops" but police "scalawags," Malacanang said on Thursday, quoting Philippine National Police ( PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said this was the explanation of Albayalde who had a meeting, along with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Aaron Aquino, with President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacanang Wednesday night.
Albayalde denied that he was a protector of ninja cops.
"He (Albayalde) told me that he updated the President on the status of the drug war; he told him about the so-called ninja cops syndicate and revealed to the President that that ninja cops syndicate is a thing of the past - that happened during the previous years of the previous administration," said Panelo in a press briefing.
According to Albayalde, he said ''ninja cops;;, who were members of an organized syndicate, were "dismantled" during the term of former PNP chief and now Senator Ronald dela Rosa and under his watch.
"What we have are police scalawags. He told the President that he has precisely undertaken measures and operations, and those operations yielded 124 policemen killed during entrapment operations and so many policemen arrested," he said.
The issue on ninja cops cropped up in the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing where these erring cops allegedly recycle illegal drugs confiscated in the police operations.
Panelo said members of the ninja cops syndicate were dead or retired.
Asked if Duterte still has trust and confidence in Albayalde, Panelo, who is also the chief presidential legal counsel, said, "Until such time as the President says otherwise, he remains in full trust and confidence of the Commander-in-chief."
The Senate leadership has said it would submit to Duterte the list of alleged policemen who were allegedly involved in recycling drugs and it would be up to the President to disclose the names.
Former PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong revealed names of the policemen allegedly involved in the recycling of illegal drugs during the Senate's executive session.
Panelo said it would be up to Duterte after studying everything to decide if he would disclose the names of the erring policemen.
"He (Duterte) will read it, he will study it and he will do something about it," he said.
Panelo assured there would be no sacred cows in the administration.
"Whoever is involved, the President will fire them. He won't only remove (the person), there will also be criminal prosecution...no sacred cow, the President has repeatedly said," he said. Celerina Monte/DMS