MANILA — Metro Manila's top cop refuted on Tuesday the claims made by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) head Aaron Aquino that recycling of illegal drugs is still rampant among law enforcers.
"I cannot agree completely with PDEA Director Aaron Aquino’s statement in the Senate hearing yesterday that the main reason illegal drugs still proliferate is primarily due to the recycling of drugs by policemen themselves," National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Police Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said in a statement.
"Unless they can identify to us these said policemen with validated reports, the sweeping statement made by the PDEA Director is not necessarily true, on face value," he added.
Eleazar said there may be "isolated and limited cases" of cops involved in drug recycling but these are not enough to be the primary reason for the continuous drug trade in Metro Manila.
The police official boasted instances wherein he relieved entire police units after a personnel was found to be involved in illegal drugs.
"My belief was that the old personnel in these units were inadvertently contaminated by the malpractices involving illegal drugs – including recycling, hulidaps, and kidnapping for ransom by rogue cops," he said.
Policemen also "now maintain a keen eye on their companions for fear of getting penalized," Eleazar said.
Eleazar cited recent operations by the NCRPO, which yielded large quantities of illegal drugs amounting to millions of pesos.
"Clearly, it is these big time distributors and huge quantities that sustain drug proliferation not only in Metro Manila but in other regions as well. This is where our drug agencies like the PDEA should now focus on," he said.
In a budget hearing at the Senate on Monday, PDEA's Aquino claimed that several sources have confirmed that unscrupulous anti-narcotics agents use the seized illegal drugs to either sell them or use them as planted evidence in bogus operations.