By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan
MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday said it will conduct a deeper investigation into the possibility of a syndicate inside the police force and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) that are into recycling illegal drugs in connection to the arrest of the head of its office and two other agents in a raid in Taguig City.
PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said the probe will be done in coordination with the office of PDEA Director General Moro Virgilio Lazo for the expansion of the investigation that would include other people.
“Tinitingnan natin yung possibility na hindi lamang dito kay (Enrique) Lucero itong connection nung mga possible behind dito sa recycling illegal drugs ng PDEA, so yun ay titingnan natin. Sabi ko ay yung mga na-recover na mga gadgets sa kanila ay isu-subject natin sa forensic examination para makita nga natin kung, baka may makita tayong mga additional evidence that would point at sa mga possible involved pa dito sa kanilang illegal activities (We are looking at the possibility that it is not just Lucero, the connection of those possibly behind the recycling of drugs of PDEA. So we are looking, based on the gadgets recovered which will be the subject of forensic examination to see if there are additional evidence that would point at the other possible involved in the illegal activities),” Fajardo told reporters in a phone interview.
Fajardo said the incident where the rampant selling of illegal drugs being done right under the noses of the agencies tasked to go against them is a serious situation they need to look into.
“Remember, hindi lang itong si Lucero ang involved dito, pati yung dalawang agents at saka driver. So kung ganito ka-bold yung kanilang illegal activities, can you imagine dun mismo sa kanilang opisina ginagawa yung pagbebenta. So, kung bakit ganito kalakas ang loob nila ay it’s really a cause of concern not only for the PNP but the PDEA as well (Remember, its not just Lucero who is involved but also the two agents and the driver. They are this bold with their illegal activities. Can you imagine the transaction being done right inside the office. Why are they so brazen, it is really a cause of concern not only for the PNP but the PDEA as well),” she added.
It was Lazo who gave the go-signal for the conduct of operation of the police into the PDEA office in Taguig City on Dec. 6 based on the confirmed intelligence reports about the alleged selling of illegal drugs right at the PDEA Southern District Office.
PDEA Southern District Office (SDO) chief Enrique Lucero, Anthony Vic Alabastro, Jaireh Llaguno, both agents of PDEA SDO, and driver Mark Warren Mallo were arrested around 9 p.m. Tuesday at PDEA South District Office on A. Bonifacio St., Barangay Upper Bicutan, Taguig City. Seized from them were some PHP9.1 million worth of shabu and paraphernalia.
Fajardo said it is too early to speculate if there are other PDEA agents involved but she said this will be the focus of the investigation.
She also said they are not discounting the possibility of the suspects having other cohorts.
“Well, it is premature to speculate right now but we cannot discount the possibility,” she said.
Fajardo said that they thanked the PDEA for their openness in the investigation.
The cases against the PDEA agents were already filed. (PNA)