ROGUE COPS recycled illegal drugs after kidnapping Chinese drug lords for ransom in an illicit business that leads all the way to the Philippines’ national jail and several regional police offices, according to a former police general.
High ranking officials from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), National Capital Region Police Office and Police Regional Office 3 were involved, former CIDG chief Benjamin B. Magalong yesterday told senators investigating corruption in the country’s prison system.
“All roads practically lead to the New Bilibid Prison,” the retired police director, now mayor of Baguio City, said at a Senate hearing.
“They peddle drugs recovered through legitimate police operations,” Mr. Magalong told the Senate justice committee. “Part of their modus operandi is to arrest Chinese drug traffickers and seize illegal drugs.”
Mr. Magalong named the high-ranking officials involved in the illegal drug trade at a closed-door meeting with several senators. Many of these officials are still active, he told reporters later.
Still, he said rogue cops in the illegal drug trade has decreased under the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
The mayor said a part of the seized drugs would be legally declared, while a “sizeable amount” would be kept in a safe house and later distributed, some to inmates in the national jail in Muntinlupa City.
Meanwhile, the Justice department said none of the prisoners illegally released for good conduct have left the country.
The agency has put the 1,914 convicts of heinous crimes under immigration lookout to check whether they have left the country, Justice Undersecretary Markk L. Perete said in a mobile-phone message.
Mr. Duterte has said convicts who fail to surrender by Sept. 19 will be hunted down “dead or alive.”
The president earlier fire Bureau of Corrections chief Nicanor E. Faeldon for allowing the release of ineligible convicts. Mr. Perete said 1,304 convicts have surrendered.
Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra has said convicts who failed to surrender woul be re-arrested without a warrant.
He also said recomputation of the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) has started after the DoJ and the DILG signed the revised rules implementing the law on early release.
The rules disqualify convicts of heinous crimes including murder, rape, destructive arson, parricide, kidnapping, serious illegal detention, and violations of certain provisions in the Dangerous Drugs Act from early release.
The Ombudsman has suspended at least 30 prison officials for alleged corruption. — Charmaine A. Tadalan and Vann Marlo M. Villegas