MANILA - The head of the country's drug enforcement said a "mole" could be the reason why narcotics operations targeting the so-called "drug queen" of the Philippines failed.
Gen. Aaron Aquino, head of the Philippines Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), said he believes operations conducted to catch Guia Gomez Castro did not materialize because of this.
"There are some mole(s) in our group. We cannot even identify who is the mole," Aquino told ANC Thursday, adding that the person he is referring to could be under the PDEA and the National Bureau of Investigation, which also conducted similar operations.
Although successful in some cases, most of the operations planned by the PDEA and other law enforcement agencies against Gomez failed "because of some leakage," said Aquino.
Castro, a former Manila barangay official, allegedly buys and redistributes illegal drugs seized by lawmen termed "ninja cops." She reportedly invested large sums of money to foster government connections, even giving away cars to police officers.
She was first arrested in 2001 for alleged possession of a kilo of drugs, but the case against her was dismissed, supposedly allowing her to expand her alleged narcotics network.
Castro enjoys the protection of some "high-ranking officials" and policemen, Aquino said earlier.
"Talagang nag-invest siya ng malaking pera magkaroon siya ng tamang connections sa gobyerno, tamang connections sa law enforcement agencies," he told radio DZMM.
(She really invested a lot of money to have right connections.)
Of 16 "ninja cops" allegedly working with Castro, 9 were killed in separate operations and one is detained, Metro Manila police chief Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar had said.
Authorities are building cases against 6 others, including 2 retired police officers, 2 who were dismissed from service, and 2 others who went on absence without leave.
Castro has flown reportedly to Bangkok. Her relatives and co-workers have denied the allegations against her.