Cops vs cop: PNP anti-drug agent yields ‘shabu’, arrested
MANILA, Philippines — A member of the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) drug enforcement group has been arrested in Sta. Cruz, Manila, after he yielded 25 grams of suspected crystal meth, locally known as shabu.
The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said in a report Tuesday that P/SSgt. Ed Dyson Banaag, 36, was collared in a buy-bust operation conducted along Rizal Avenue corner Lope de Vega Street in Barangay 312 on Monday night.
Police said P170,000 worth of shabu was seized from Banaag, as well as one Glock 17 9mm pistol with serial number PNP64108, and a PNP identification card, among others.
Banaag is currently under the custody of the Manila Police District.
The NCRPO also said that two other police officers from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) identified as P/SSgt. Raymund Portes and P/SSgt. Jerry Saratobias Jr. were arrested for obstruction of justice.
“The duo were found to be former colleagues of P/SSgt. Banaag in the CIDG in Camp Crame, who intervened during the process of inventory and investigation carried out by the operating unit,” the police said.
The NCRPO said complaints for obstruction of justice would be lodged against Portes and Saratobias before the Manila City Prosecutor’s Office.
Meanwhile, PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said a case is expected to be filed against Banaag within the day while the PNP Internal Affairs Services will start an administrative probe into the incident.
He also noted that while the PNP is waiting for all high-ranking officers to submit their courtesy resignations in support of the government’s bid to rid police ranks of links to the illegal drug trade, their anti-drug operations continue even if it involves their own personnel.
“Whether pulis ang involved ay hinuhuli ng ating kapulisan. Ito ay parte ng ating internal cleansing na ginagawa at ito ay ating panawagan noong inaugural speech ko na iyong mga kasamahan natin na hindi titigil sa kanilang paggawa ng mga illigal, lalo na sa involved sa illigal na droga, kung pwede ay magretiro na sila’t mag-resign sa serbisyo dahil siguradong mahuhuli’t mahuhuli sila ng ating mga awtoridad,” he said in an interview with radio station DZRH.
(Whether police officers are involved, they are still arrested by the police. This is part of the internal cleansing that we’re doing, and it was also my call during my inaugural speech for our people involved in illegal activities, especially illegal drugs, to retire and resign from the service if possible, because they will certainly be caught by authorities.)
According to the PNP, 2,098 administrative cases related to illegal drugs were filed against its officers and non-uniformed personnel between July 1, 2016, and November 16, 2022.
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