MANILA - The 13 police officers involved in the controversial Pampanga drug bust in 2013 are at risk, ex-police official and now Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong said Tuesday.
Magalong, former Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) chief, said the lawmen involved in the allegedly anomalous anti-narcotics operation in Mexico town should be prioritized since civilian agents who were part of the raid have already been killed.
"I hope that those involved in the 2013 drug bust in Mexico, Pampanga will realize that they're on their own. And I hope some of them will start talking. Unless they end up dead like the civilian agents involved in that drug operation," Magalong told ANC.
The 13 so-called “ninja cops,” who are facing reinvestigation over the infamous drug raid in which the policemen allegedly recycled seized drugs, can be assassinated by people who want to stop the probe, said Magalong.
"Anything can happen. They can easily hire guns for hire. They have the money and they have contacts. In fact, with the amount of P5,000 to P10,000, you can easily hire a hitman nowadays," Magalong said.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) last week told the 13 policemen to appear on Wednesday at its office to participate in the reinvestigation.
Recently-resigned PNP chief Oscar Albayalde, who was Pampanga police chief at the time, was accused of protecting the 13 officers from being dismissed.
Albayalde denied this, saying the dismissal order was downgraded to demotion after the officers filed a motion for reconsideration.