‘Tokhang-for-ransom’ cop funded by group that wants to sabotage PNP—exec
SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel, the policeman who recently surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) after he was tagged in the kidnapping of Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo, was funded by a group trying to discredit the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s successful campaign against illegal drugs, a police official said on Wednesday.
“He might be well-funded and we might be into a situation na may mga nagponpondo d’yan lalo na ‘yung mga kalaban natin sa droga,” Chief Supt. Albert Ignatius Ferro, chief of the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group, said in a press briefing at Camp Crame.
PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa also brought up the possibility that Sta. Isabel had a “padrino (backer).” Dela Rosa said Sta. Isabel’s protector could be one of the so-called “narco-generals” President Duterte identified.
Dela Rosa added that Sta. Isabel’s protector was the one who worked out his assignment to AIDG last July.
“We will exert more effort to be a saboteur-free unit because we believe these are saboteurs and we will intensify our counter-intelligence more,” Ferro said.
Before entering the anti-narcotics unit of the PNP, Ferro said Sta. Isabel was previously assigned at the district anti-illegal drugs unit of Quezon City, Northern and Southern police.
“Alam niyo naman mga scalawag na pulis so he might be part of the group kasi bakit nya gagawin ‘yon? Bakit niya sisirain ‘yung isa sa mga sinasaligan na institution ng PNP sa illegal drugs?” he said.
(You know how scalawag police operate. He might be part of that group. Because why will he do that? Why will he disgrace the PNP, the institution he belongs to, in its fight against illegal drugs.
Ferro also questioned the timing of the abduction of Jee, noting that during the time of the incident last October, he and other top AIDG officials were out of the country to facilitate the arrest of Kerwin Espinosa in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
“Bakit mo gagawin ‘yon sa time na wala ‘yung mga commanders? Siguro may plano na siya earlier (Why will he do that when the commanders are away? He might have planned this earlier),” he said.
Supt. Rafael Dumlao, team leader of Sta. Isabel’s group, and his two cohorts, all from the AIDG are now placed under restrictive custody within the confines of Camp Crame while they are undergoing pre-charge investigation.
Ferro said Sta. Isabel’s cohorts said they were duped into believing that they would conduct a drug operation before they took Jee from his home in Angeles, Pampanga last October. 18. IDL
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