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Duterte: 2 generals still 'playing with drugs'

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday (PHL time) bared that two "generals" remain engaged in the illegal drug trade.

"When I took over, I found out about nine generals were involved in the trafficking of drugs," Duterte said at the Valdai Forum in Russia.

"And right now, even as I fly here and go back, there are about again two generals who are still playing with drugs. And I said, 'Well, I told you do not destroy my country because it is being flooded with drugs'."

Duterte did not elaborate whether he was referring to police or military generals.

Duterte's statement came amid the controversy hounding the Philippine National Police (PNP) involving "ninja cops" or policemen recycling illegal drugs seized in their operations.

In a separate statement, PNP spokesman Police Brigadier General Bernard Banac said the PNP is ready to face investigation regarding the generals allegedly involved in illegal drugs.

"Nakahanda ang PNP na humarap sa anumang posibleng pagdinig o imbestigasyon na gagawin upang bigyan ng linaw ang ulat na may dalawa pang heneral ang nananatiling  may kaugnayan sa iligal na droga," Banac said.

He said the PNP has no information yet about high-ranking police officials who are involved in illegal drugs, aside from the latest information provided by the Chief Executive.

"Tinitiyak natin sa publiko na ang PNP ay mananatiling tapat, propesyonal at disiplinado, at patuloy ang maigting na kampanya laban sa kriminalidad, iligal na droga, gayundin ang internal cleansing," Banac said.

The racket was bared by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino during a Senate inquiry last month.

Outgoing PNP chief General Oscar Albayalde's alleged attempt to intervene in the case of 13 alleged "ninja cops," who were previously under his supervision as Pampanga provincial police director, also surfaced in the same Senate inquiry.

The 13 policemen supposedly violated various operation procedures in a drug bust in 2013 and were subject for dismissal.

Former PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong alleged that Albayalde asked Aquino, then-PNP Region 3 director, not to implement the dismissal order.

The top cop admitted that he called Aquino but only to check the case status. He denied that he has any intention of influencing the latter.

Duterte, on the other hand, had previously said he reserves judgment on the fate of Albayalde who is set to retire on November 8. —with Anna Felicia Bajo/KBK, GMA News