Embattled Taguig police chief Senior Supt. Tomas Apolinario Jr. said Wednesday that the allegations made by his former subordinate against him and his men were “nothing but the handiwork of illegal drug syndicates.”
In a statement, Apolinario said he and members of the police station’s antinarcotics team “began to earn the ire of local syndicates” when they arrested Elisa Tiñga, whom he described as a “big fish” and a “prominent member of the notorious Tiñga drug syndicate.”
“Elisa is the eighth member of the Tiñga drug syndicate to be identified by authorities. The others are Noel, Joel, Fernando, Allan Carlos, Alberto, Bernardo and Hector Tiñga,” he added.
Apolinario said that Police Officer 3 Alexander Saez had a “wide knowledge” of the problem on illegal drugs in Taguig as he had been a member of the city police station’s anti-illegal drugs special operations task group since 2004.
“Taguig PNP [Philippine National Police] records show that he began to hold drug-related cases as an investigator for the local police in 2006. In fact, he is the one who personally brings the confiscated ‘shabu’ and shabu paraphernalia to the PNP Crime Laboratory,” he added.
“If there is a person who would know how to recycle evidence, especially shabu, in this particular modus operandi, then Saez would be the one who has that experience,” he claimed.
In a news forum on Monday, Saez accused Apolinario and nine other members of the Taguig police of being involved in “drug recycling,” or the reselling of illegal drugs seized during operations.
But despite the serious allegations, the Taguig police chief will remain at his post, at least for now.
Director Leonardo Espina, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, said he was still waiting for the recommendation of the special investigating team he created to look into Saez’s allegations before deciding whether Apolinario should be temporarily relieved.
“Like what state prosecutors do, there should be a finding of probable cause first during the precharge investigation before a relief order could be issued [against Apolinario and his men]. We are just observing due process in this case,” Espina told the Inquirer over the phone.
He said he was expecting the special investigating team led by Chief Supt. Sonny David, NCRPO deputy chief for administration, to submit its report to him within a week.
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome also directed Espina to order Apolinario’s administrative relief only “upon the finding of probable cause by the special investigating body.”—With Jaymee T. Gamil