Cop says Taguig police run drug ringBy Jerry E. Esplanada
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A Taguig City police sergeant has blown the whistle on what he called a “drug syndicate operating right inside the Taguig police station.”
PO3 Alexander Saez told Monday’s “Balitaan sa Aloha Hotel” media forum in Manila that at least a dozen policemen, including Taguig’s police chief, Senior Supt. Tomas Apolinario Jr., were involved in the illegal drug trade.
Contacted by phone, Apolinario laughed off Saez’s allegations against him and some of his men.
“[Saez] should take a psychiatric test,” Apolinario told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
He said Saez was “desperate because he’s been suspended for over a year now for his involvement in a drug-related extortion case.”
“He couldn’t accept what happened to him,” Apolinario said in Filipino. “Now, he’s blaming us for his misfortune. Worse, he wants to destroy not just the Taguig police force but the entire PNP (Philippine National Police).”
Saez, who joined the PNP in 1997, also alleged that during his “active involvement” with the group from May to October 2011, they “made at least P5 million.”
“My take was around P200,000,” said Saez, a native of Lopez, Quezon province.
In a statement read to reporters, Saez claimed that during his assignment as an investigator on the Taguig police station’s Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force, he and his colleagues were involved in the “recycling” of shabu.
“We were arresting big drug pushers outside our area of jurisdiction. We would make money out of the arrested pushers and sell the confiscated drugs to the pushers in Taguig,” Saez said.
Saez alleged that at the Taguig police station, two sets of blotters were kept supposedly on Apolinario’s orders.
He added: “Only small cases were listed in the official blotter … On orders of our chief of police, we would produce an additional blotter so that we could record there the many cases of crime [including those involving drug-related cases] …
“Two blotters were being made at the station so that we could cover up the many crimes occurring in Taguig, and we could show that it was orderly and peaceful in Taguig.”
The second blotter was used by the group to extort money from drug suspects, Saez said.
According to him, the group also did business with an undisclosed number of “Chinese drug dealers” serving time at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.
Two months ago, Saez said he wrote a letter to Chief Supt. Leonardo Espina, head of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), to report the irregularities involving PNP-Taguig personnel.
On Nov. 19, he said he got a call from “a certain P02 Gajeto, who introduced himself as an NCRPO investigator.”
When he reported to Gajeto’s office, Saez said he was asked to issue a sworn statement about his disclosures. There, he learned that the Taguig policemen he mentioned in his complaint were “already being investigated by the command.”
However, he said he got one of the biggest surprises of his life when he found out that the same affidavit he issued to the NCRPO was used by the cops he cited in the complaint in a libel case filed against him in a Taguig City court.
Saez said he believed that “because of the leakage, my life is now in danger.”
He said this prompted him to seek the help of the National Bureau of Investigation for a “parallel investigation” on the case.
He is also considering joining the witness protection program of the Department of Justice.
Saez admitted that money was at the root of his current problems.
“It’s hard to be a policeman,” he told the forum. “Sometimes you really need money … I have also dreamed of getting rich,” he said.
Asked why he decided to blow the whistle on his fellow policemen, Saez claimed: “I want to change.”
In his written statement, he said: “As an assistant facilitator of Couples of Christ, I believe that this is what the Lord wants for me, that I would become an instrument to correct the wrongs.”
Saez met with Espina later Monday at the NCRPO office in Camp Bagong Diwa and explained his allegations against the Taguig policemen.
Espina said he asked Saez for a copy of the criminal complaint he had filed against his fellow officers so that administrative charges—if warranted—could be filed against them.
If the administrative charges are filed, the officers will be placed under preventive suspension, Espina said. A police investigation team will look closely into Saez’s case, he said.
Saez also planned to see Sen. Panfilo Lacson in his Senate office. The meeting was arranged by a former “jueteng” whistle-blower, who asked not to be named. With a report from Maricar Brizuela
Originally posted: 7:02 pm | Monday, December 3rd, 2012