PNP eyes ‘drug link’ in abduction of ex-cop in Bacolod City
MANILA, Philippines — Investigators are looking into the alleged drug links of a retired anti-drug police officer as the possible motive behind his abduction in Bacolod City, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde said on Monday.
This development came after Police Major Lito Pirote, formerly assigned at the now defunct Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force of the PNP, was abducted outside a hotel by at least eight armed men on board a white Toyota Hiace on Friday.
“He is in the list. Of course isa sa anggulo na tinitingnan natin ‘yun. As of this time kasi wala pa tayong makitang ibang anggulo except doon sa alleged involvement niya sa illegal drugs,” Albayalde said in a press conference at Camp Crame.
(He is in the list. Of course that’s one of the angles we are looking into. As of this time we don’t see any other angles except his alleged involvement in illegal drugs.)
Albayalde was referring to the list of alleged narco-cops included in a “secret special report” by President Rodrigo Duterte in October 2018.
The report accused Pirote of involvement in the drug trade along with dismissed Police Col. Eduardo Acierto; Police Col. Leonardo Suan; former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Deputy Chief for Administration Police Lt. Col. Ismael Fajardo Jr.; relieved Police Lt. Col. Lorenzo Bacia; Police Lt. Conrado Caragdag; and Master Sgt. Alejandro Liwanag.
Albayalde however, said that investigators have yet to establish the motive behind the abduction. /jpv