New PNP anti-drugs chief ‘fears no one,’ says Bato
The head of the new anti-narcotics unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP), whose members will be at the forefront of the relaunched war on drugs, is afraid of no one.
PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said this as he vouched for his fellow Mindanaoan Senior Supt. Graciano Mijares during the announcement of the resumption of “Oplan Double Barrel” on Monday.
Mijares, Dela Rosa’s underclass and member of the Philippine Military Academy class of 1988, will lead the newly-formed Drug Enforcement Group (DEG), which will take charge of the PNP’s drive against illegal drugs.
“‘Yung kanyang serbisyo nakatutok sa anti-organized crime kaya beterano na ‘to sa gyera sa kidnappers at drug lords sa Mindanao,” Dela Rosa said in a press conference at Camp Crame.
“Ilang beses na ‘to nabaril. Marami nang tama ang katawan nito kaya hindi na ‘to takot mamatay. Pwede na ‘to mamatay anytime because he survived the worst encounters in his life,” Dela Rosa continued.
Dela Rosa said Mijares, formerly the deputy director for administration of Central Luzon police regional office, won the votes of the members of the PNP Command Group and Directorial Staff when they deliberated who will lead the DEG.
“Sinisiguro natin ‘yung mag head ng DEG palaban, walang kinakatakutan at straight na tao at walang record ng kalokohan,” he said.
As for the members of the DEG, Dela Rosa said they are still in the process of completing the roster because it is “undergoing thorough vetting process.”
Dela Rosa assured that the members of the new drug unit will be clean.
“DEG personnel are both young and veteran cops who were working on the sidelines and were working without being noticed but they possess the necessary qualifications. Mga heroes ‘yan pero hindi lang ‘yan nagpapansin,” he said.
Not all anti-drug operatives are like SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel and Supt. Raphael Dumlao, Dela Rosa added.
Sta. Isabel and Dumlao are the primary suspects behind the October 2016 killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo inside Camp Crame. Both are members of the defunct PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG).
The controversial killing triggered the suspension of the drug war in January. JE/rga
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