MANILA - Around 250 cops in Metro Manila who are involved in illegal activities have been relieved from their positions, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said Wednesday.
"So far dito sa Metro Manila, lalo sa QCPD (Quezon City Police District). Ipinalipat natin [yung involved] sa illegal drugs, lalo na sa extortion and all other illegal activities. Not necessarily nailipat sa Mindanao, nagna-number ng 250, the whole of Metro Manila, not necessarily natransfer sa Mindanao," NCRPO Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde said.
Nineteen "ninja cops" from the Manila Police District (MPD) have been relocated to Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), in Caraga region, and in Region 9, pending investigation and filing of criminal and administrative cases against them.
According to NCRPO, 17 cops assigned to ARMM, and one assigned to Police Regional Office in Region 9, have gone AWOL (absent without leave). They have been dropped from the official rolls of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and will be subjected to police operations.
"Meron tayong information na may mga nag-AWOL pero find out pa natin 'yan sa higher headquarters," Albayalde said.
He added that going AWOL is one proof that the "ninja cops" are involved in the illegal drug trade.
Meanwhile, the NCRPO is conducting a workshop to determine the network of these so-called ninja cops.
"Kaya nga ito minabuti na magconduct ng workshop. We called on all district intelligence officer, investigation officers, na ito magconduct ng workshop para matignan paano ito nag-start, gaano kalalim 'yung pulis na nai-involve sa illegal drug trade sa Metro Manila," Albayalde said.
One of their illegal activities is recycling illegal drugs confiscated in anti-illegal drug operations. They are also the ones who sell these recycled drugs to their contacts.
"Reportedly, these cops, these rogue policemen are engaged in the recycling of evidence seized from drug suspects and in fact they are the ones selling these to their drug conduits, so in fact they are themselves drug lords, and of course, protection and extortion money are demanded from drug suspects," MPD district director Senior Supt. Napoleon Coronel said.
These cops are also allegedly involved in extortion, wherein they do not file charges against drug suspects in exchange for money.
NCRPO will likewise investigate all dismissed cases to identify the role these ninja cops played in the dismissal of drug-related cases.
Authorities will also look into judges and lawyers who might be involved in the operation of ninja cops. - report from Dominic Almelor, ABS-CBN News