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Senate probe vs. cops allegedly involved in P6.7-M shabu haul in Manila sought

Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. has filed a resolution seeking a Senate investigation into the alleged involvement of ranking Philippine National Police officers in the P6.7 billion drug haul in Manila late last year.

The inquiry is sought “with the end in view of laying down a system that would not only prevent circumvention of rules in order to evade liability, but would likewise ensure full accountability of the personnel involved,” Revilla said.

The resolution was filed after Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos urged two police generals and several other police officers to go on leave after they figured in the fact-finding investigation on the multi-billion-peso drug haul.

Revilla mentioned in his resolution the CCTV footage of the October 8, 2022 drug bust operation that was presented by Abalos where 42 police officers were seen taking 42 kilos of shabu before the inventory of the confiscated 990 kilos of illegal drugs.

While the Special Investigation Task Force known as SITG 990 had already launched an investigation on the incident, Revilla said the progress on the probe “has so far been slow” and he cited Abalos’ conclusion that there was a “massive attempt” to cover up the arrest of Master Sergeant Rodolfo Mayo Jr.—the owner of the property where the 990 kilograms of shabu were recovered.

“The massive drug bust with strong allegations of attempts to cover-up involvement of high-ranking officers indicates that the illegal drug trade may have even infiltrated the PNP’s most specialized units that are tasked to eradicate illegal drugs in the country,” Revilla said.

“To make certain accountability and to provide a third person account on the matter, investigation by the appropriate Senate committee is imperative. This will further ensure that those who are responsible for this heinous act will be dealt with to the full extent of law. Furthermore, this seeks to prevent the occurrence of the same lawlessness in the future,” headded.

Revilla said instances where government personnel involved commit detestable acts that serve to taint the integrity of the agency they serve must be thwarted and the Senate must step in and ensure that the trust and confidence reposed unto them is not abused.

On Tuesday, Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said police officials who have been linked to the confiscation of P6.7 billion worth of shabu in Manila in late 2022 should be removed from their posts.

Dela Rosa, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, conducted a hearing on the drug case last month. The panel looked into the missing 42 kilos which were believed to be part of the 990 kilograms of illegal drugs confiscated from Mayo in October.

He confirmed the names Abalos mentioned floated during the legislative inquiry but said he decided to defer the next hearing as he awaited the results of the National Police Commission’s probe. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News