Lawmakers are perplexed why Mayo has more ‘shabu’ than drug lords
MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers from the House of Representatives’ committee on dangerous drugs are perplexed as to how a single Philippine National Police (PNP) anti-drug operative can be arrested with a humongous amount of illegal drugs, way bigger than the drug lords nabbed in the past.
According to Antipolo 2nd District Rep. Romeo Acop, the amount of shabu seized from Police Mst. Sgt. Rodolfo Mayo’s WPD Lending office in the October 8, 2022 operation — 990 kilograms — are bigger than what has been obtained from several Chinese drug lords in the Philippines.
Such an issue, he said, merits an investigation from the PNP and other law enforcement agencies.
“In the case of Sgt. Mayo, wala akong makita na Chinese man lang (but) he has in his possession one ton of illegal drugs. Sa’n kaya nanggaling ‘yon?” Acop asked.
(In the case of Sgt. Mayo, I don’t see any Chinese with him, (but) he has in his possession one ton of illegal drugs. Where did that come from?)
“Hindi ko alam kung iniimbestigahan ng PNP ‘yon, I do not know if the PNP or the authorities in-charge of these are alarmed by the fact that a non-commissioned officer of the PNP has in his possession one ton of illegal drugs. Hindi sa Chinese, pulis na ang may hawak, ‘di po ba? ‘Di ba kayo nagtataka do’n? How did he accumulate that number of illegal drugs, naka-stock sa opisina niya?” he added.
(I don’t know if the PNP investigates this, I do not know if the PNP or the authorities in-charge of these are alarmed by the fact that a non-commissioned officer of the PNP has in his possession one ton of illegal drugs. Not from the Chinese, but police are handling these drugs. Aren’t you surprised? How did he accumulate that number of illegal drugs stocked in his office?)
In comparison, a recent anti-drug in Baguio City involving a Chinese national yielded over P4 billion worth of shabu in teabags. The substance obtained from Mayo still costs more — priced at around P6.7 billion.
Committee chairperson and Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers also questioned why there was a need for Mayo to be used for a follow-up operation, when he had just been arrested for this huge drug haul.
Barbers was referring to the considerations made by key PNP officials, including relieved PNP Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG) chief Brig. Gen. Narciso Domingo, Calabarzon PDEG Special Operations Unit (SOU) head Col. Julian Olonan, National Capital Region DEG officer-in-charge Lt. Col. Arnulfo Ibañez, that Mayo be used to capture a bigger fish.
“Nagtataka ako, ‘yong gano’n kalaki na drugs na nakita sa kanya, sa kanyang possession, sabi nga sa narration ng ating mga PNP officers ay parang aksidenteng na-discover eh, kasi nag-follow up operation sila sa loob ng WPD Lending, so the fact that Mayo has one ton of drugs in his possession, aba, eh bakit gagamitin niyo pa siya for tactical operation? Ano bang meron si Mayo?” he asked.
(I am confused, you got that huge amount of drugs from his possession which according to the narration of our PNP officers was accidentally discovered, because of the follow-up operation at WPD Lending, so the fact that Mayo has one ton of drugs in his possession, why use him for a tactical operation? What’s with him?)
“Sinasabi ni Col. Ibañez kanina, at saka Col. Olonan and General Domingo na kinakailangang magamit si Mayo para mahuli ‘yong sa Pasig? Eh if you have enough intelligence reports and information, and if you have an asset, ‘di mo na kailangan si Mayo do’n eh. So bakit niyo pinakawalan si Mayo? ‘Yon ang malaking tanong,” he added.
(Col. Ibañez said earlier, along with Col. Olonan and General Domingo that Mayo has to be used to apprehend the one in Pasig. But if you have enough intelligence reports and information, and if you have an asset, you don’t need him. So why did you free him? That’s the big question.)
Acop also asked whether the PNP asked Mayo on how he got hold of the almost one ton of shabu, but PNP officials said that they were not able to interrogate the former policeman since he was already detained.
The House panel is probing the incident, which has garnered controversy after Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said that an alleged cover-up was planned by high-ranking PNP officials.
Instead of being arrested, Mayo was seen without handcuffs — as shown in closed circuit television camera footage obtained shared during the House hearing and previous press conferences.
Domingo, however, assured that there was no cover-up, noting that they were only talking about the next operation where Mayo can be used to pinpoint other individuals involved in the drug trade.