MANILA - Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa on Tuesday stood by the appointment of Senior Supt. Albert Ignatius Ferro as the new police anti-drug chief, despite the involvement of the latter's former unit in the kidnap-slay of a South Korean businessman.
Ferro has been tapped to command the PNP Drug Enforcement Group (PNP DEG). He used to head the Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG), which was dissolved after several of its officers were accused of abducting businessman Jee Ick Joo, killing him inside Camp Crame and extorting money from his family in October 2016.
"It was found out na hindi siya (Ferro) involved doon sa Jee Ick Joo case. Nangyari lang na ang mga taong gumawa ng krimen are under his command," Dela Rosa told reporters at PNP headquarters.
"He was even instrumental in the resolution of the case... He was not part of the problem, he was part of the solution."
Dela Rosa said Ferro facilitated the confession of SPO4 Roy Villegas, who testified to seeing his colleagues strangle Jee.
Ferro will be more discerning in hiring PDEG officers, who will assist the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in leading the war on drugs, the PNP chief said.
He also lauded Ferro's ties with foreign counterparts and track record.
"I need someone who can steer this group, the PNP Drug Enforcement Group, to higher level. Kailangan ko ng taong magpe-perform at magde-deliver. I know him, he can really deliver, given his track record," he said.
Dela Rosa also fired back at critics of Ferro's appointment, saying: "Tanggalin n'yo ako sa pagka-chief PNP kung hindi n'yo ako bibigyan ng prerogative to choose my subordinate commanders."
(Oust me as PNP chief if you will not give me the prerogative to choose my subordinate commanders.)