MANILA — Aside from "ninja cops" who recycle narcotics seized in state operations, 2 other groups in the police force dubbed "ninja liit" and "volt in" are also allegedly involved in this illegal activity, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency said Thursday.
Ninja cops redistribute drug hauls worth at least P20 million, while "ninja liit" or "small ninja" groups target smaller operations, PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said.
"'Pag may maliliit na operation na hindi dinaanan ng ninja cops, iyong mga ninja liit ang titira... Ninja cops, ayaw muna tirahin ang P3 million, parang naliliitan. Sasabihin, palakihin natin muna, gawin nating P20 million," he told radio DZMM.
(Ninja liit take on operations that ninja cops give up. Ninja cops snub operations worth P3 million, they seem to find it small. They'd say let's make it bigger, around P20 million.)
"Volt in" groups, meanwhile, also target small narcotics operations, but its members are often friends of former class mates, he said.
"Nagkikita [sila] para lang gumawa ng krimen at ang puntos dito pera-pera lahat," he said, adding in a text message that the group's name was derived from an anime's catchphrase, "Let's volt in."
(They meet just to commit crimes and the point here is all about money.)
President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday warned policemen allegedly involved in the narcotics trade that, "Everybody dies in this world but you will go ahead first."
There had been 854 policemen in Duterte's watch list for selling and using illegal drugs or protecting traffickers, but only 22 "ninja cops" are still in service, based on police monitoring, said Aquino.
PDEA and former police official Benjamin Magalong, however, have separate intelligence reports that bring up the total number of alleged ninja cops to "more or less 50", he said.
Aquino said he expects this figure to increase because Magalong, mayor of Baguio City who used to head the police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, is still compiling information against other police officers.
PDEA 'NOT EXEMPTED'
Some PDEA personnel also dabble with narcotics trade, including a driver who was recently caught recycling drugs and "around 2" agents who were sacked from their posts, said Aquino.
He added that he ordered an inspection of PDEA's headquarters about 2 weeks ago following reports that some personnel were recycling drugs.
"Hindi exempted ang PDEA d'yan na walang nagre-recycle," he said.
(PDEA is not exempted from recycling.)
PDEA, he admitted, might also have a mole that botched operations to arrest an alleged "drug queen" that buys confiscated drugs.
"Hindi ko naman ide-deny kasi hindi ko naman alam baka iyong mole na iyon galing PDEA... Kaya sa panahon ngayon, hindi mo alam kung sino iyong kakampi, kaaway mo," he said.
(I won't deny because I don't know if the mole came from PDEA. In these times, you don't know who is your ally or foe.)