Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. has asked two police generals and several other police officers to go on leave within the week or face suspension.
At a news conference, Abalos said this was in connection with the National Police Commission's fact-finding investigation of the 990 kilograms of shabu which was confiscated in a drug raid in October last year.
A policeman, Police MSgt. Rodolfo Mayo, was arrested in connection with the operation.
Abalos adverted to an attempt at a "massive cover-up" as regards the drug haul said to be worth P6.7 billion and considered the largest confiscated in the country.
"The fact-finding board has taken testimonies of several personalities and based on this and other pieces of evidence... under the possession of the board, it shows that there is indeed a massive attempt to cover-up the arrest of Mayo," Abalos said.
Abalos said the fact-finding panel chaired by Napolcom vice chairman Commissioner Alberto Bernardo was convened due to what he called the slow pace of investigation conducted into the matter by the PNP.
"Mag leave na lang muna sila pending investigation if not they will be suspended," said Abalos, who added that the officers have until this week to go on leave.
(I ask that they go on leave pending investigation. If not, they will be suspended.)
Those who have been asked to take a leave of absence were Police Lt. Gen. Benjamin Santos, then the PNP deputy chief for operations; Police Brig. Gen. Narciso Domingo, the chief of the PNP Drug Enforcement Group; Police Colonel Julian Olonan, the chief of the PDEG Special Operations Unit in Region 4A; Police Lt. Col. Glenn Gonzales of the Quezon City Police District; Police Lt. Col. Arnulfo Ibañez, officer in charge of the PDEG SOU in NCR; Police Major Michael Angelo Salmingo, deputy of PDEG SOU NCR; Police Capt. Jonathan Sosongco, head of the PDEG SOU 4A arrest team; Police Lt. Ashrap Amerol, intelligence officer of the PDEG Intelligence and Foreign Liaison Dvision; Police Lt. Col. Harry Lorenzo station commander of the Manila Police District in Moriones; and Police Capt, Randolph Piñon, chief of PDEG SOU 4A Intelligence Section.
GMA Integrated News is still trying to get comments from the police officials who have been named.
He presented to the media CCTV footage, which showed Mayo in handcuffs and then later released.
The video also showed police officials arriving and leaving the premises of an establishment where Mayo was.
Mayo has since been arrested and dismissed from the service.
“Parang iba ang nangyari dun sa mga report na na-file ng PNP kasama na ang mga dokumento at mga testimonials na ibinigay ng police officers,” Abalos said.
(It appears that it is different from the reports filed by the PNP including the documents and testimonies given by the police officers.)
Abalos indicated he believed there were police officers involved. —NB, GMA Integrated News