imyeyes-banner-sqIn My EyesBy Edward B. Antonio

Who will protect us?

Ninja movies have fascinated us no end since we were young, fellas.

Ninjas are legendary Japanese secret warriors thoroughly clad from head to foot with only their eyes visibly seen within their overalls. They are armed with ninjato and katana, tachi, kodachi, shuriken, caltrop, ninja explosives, kama, kunai, tanto, blowguns, bow, naginata and yari spear.

Of course they can “fly.”

They explode powder smokes and then they “disappear.”

They are good assassins and they are excellent swordsmen.

Historically, a ninja (hiragana or shinobi) was a covert agent or mercenary in feudal Japan. The functions of a ninja included espionage, deception and surprise attacks. Their covert methods of waging irregular warfare were deemed dishonorable and beneath the honor of the samurai. Espionage was the chief role of the ninja. With the aid of disguises, the ninja gathered information on enemy terrain and building specifications, as well as obtaining passwords and communiques. 

We also have our own version of a ninja, fellas.

He is called a ninja cop.

Originally, a ninja cop is a policeman who has the ability to climb and scale walls during drug raids.

Now, it has emerged that a big part of the drug puzzle in the Philippines are the so-called ninja cops. These are drug-enforcement agents who are allegedly involved in the trade for personal gain.

Now, what’s the background of the issue, fellas?

A news report explains:

In 2013, police operatives headed by then Supt. Rodney Baloyo raided a drug then allegedly owned by Chinese drug lord Johnson Lee. Of the 200 kilos of shabu seized, only 36 kilos were turned over to the PNP with the 160 kilos worth P648M undeclared. An investigation revealed that the police let Lee go in exchange for P50 million. Another Chinese national who was nabbed from Clark Freeport Zone, identified in earlier reports as Ding Wengkun, was presented as the suspect in the case.

Former Philippine National Police Chief (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief and now Baguio City mayor Benjamin Magalong identified the cops involved in the operation as Sr. Insp. Joven de Guzman Jr., SPO1 Jules Maniago, SPO1 Ronald Santos, SPO1 Donald Roque, SPO1 Rommel Vital, SPO1 Alcinador Tinio, PO3 Dindo Dizon, PO3 Gilbert De Vera, PO3 Romeo Guerrero, PO2 Anthony Loleng Lacsamana, SPO1 Eligio Valeroso, and SPO1 Dante Dizon.

PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde, then the cops’ chief at the Pampanga police office, is under fire for supposedly attempting to spare them from dismissal. The Senate investigation found out that the cops were merely demoted, in what Senate Minority Franklin Drilon has described as a “cover-up.”

Albayalde has stepped down as PNP chief, reiterating he was not involved in the alleged irregularities in the police operation.

Did he really intercede for the non-dismissal of the 13 ninja cops?

Did he receive “something” or “only a little” from the operations which retired police general Rudy Lacadin claimed before a Senate panel on Wednesday, October 9, that this was what Philippine National Police chief General Oscar Albayalde – who was Pampanga police chief then – told him in a phone call when Lacadin was conducting a district-level probe into the questionable 2013 drug operation in Mexico, Pampanga?

Who is more reliable, Albayade or the team of Lacadin, PDEA Chief Aaron Aquino and former Police General and now Baguio City mayor Benjamin Magalong whom Albayalde accused of “ganging up on him?”

“The tokhang [war on drugs] campaign, which has killed thousands of people and supposedly drug dealers… loses its credibility when you hear of these allegations between high-ranking officials of the PNP,” senate minority floor leader Franklin Drilon said.

Now that Albayalde has resigned, is he off the hook?

Senator Drilon and Senate Blue Ribbon committee chair Richard “Dick” Gordon said Albayalde, who is supposed to retire on November 8, is not yet off the hook.

“His resignation ahead of his mandatory retirement, however, will not in any way clear him from his liability, both administratively or criminally, in connection with the Pampanga ‘ninja cops’ issue,” Drilon said in a statement.

He said Albayalde failed to stop or condemn the alleged recycling of drugs by his men, now referred to as “ninja cops”, when he was Pampanga police chief in 2013. He added that Albayalde might have even be involved in a cover-up of the crime. He said the Senate Blue Ribbon and the Justice and Human Rights Committees have evidence that there was a conspiracy to cover up and that the 13 ninja cops violated the anti-drug laws.

Now we understand why the drug problem in the country will always be here to stay.

We have ninja cops.

We have rogue cops.

And if we are to believe Magalong and Lacadin, we also have protector generals and their tentacles.

We have what it takes to perpetuate drugs in our country with the help of these rotten police officers and no matter what President Duterte does, he is bound to fail.

If these are the people who are supposed to protect us from the menace brought about by drug pushers, drug users and drug addicts, who will then protect us?

Tell me who, fellas?