‘QC shabu queen’ got goods on ‘ninja cops’
A day after a congressional inquiry heard accounts about the so-called “ninja cops” or lawmen who sell the illegal drugs confiscated from users or pushers, the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) disclosed that it was holding a woman who claimed to have worked with such officers.
Hapida Ditanongun, also known to her buyers as “Madam” and tagged as the local “Shabu Queen,” has admitted arranging drug deals with some Quezon City policemen over the last two years, according to the QCPD director.
Senior Supt. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar said Ditanongun, who was arrested on Oct. 2, identified some QCPD members as either her customers or business partners.
Among those she mentioned, Eleazar said, was Senior Insp. Ramon Castillo, a member of the QCPD’s antinarcotics division who was killed by fellow officers in a buy-bust operation in July.
Castillo would give her 100 grams of “shabu” every two days, which she would then sell, Eleazar said on Tuesday, quoting Ditanongun’s statement to investigators.
The other officers named in the statement were already relieved of their posts by the time the woman was arrested last week, the official added.
A day after the operation that ended in Castillo’s death, 35 members of his team—the District Anti-Illegal Drugs division—were ordered relieved.
Ditanongun, who said she started selling drugs in 2014, also claimed that her police contacts protected her: She was arrested twice for drug-related offenses in 2015 but never stayed behind bars for long.
The suspect managed to use “proxies”—people who stood in for her at inquest proceedings and then released from detention because the police charged them only with drug possession, Eleazar said.
“She said there came a time when the drug trade seemed legal because (pushers like her) were protected by the police,” Eleazar said in an interview. “We are trying to start with a clean slate here. Unless these ninja cops are stopped from helping drug suspects, the problem will go on in the communities.”
Ditanongun, whom the QCPD placed on its drug watch list in July, was arrested by members of Galas station after her helper filed a complaint for physical injury and attempted murder. She was arrested together with Justin Oliver De Vera at the Emaraude Residence on Baloy Street, Barangay Doña Imelda.