PHILIPPINE National Police chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde yesterday denied reports that retired and active soldiers as well as policemen have turned into death squads, killing rivals and enemies of big-time drug syndicates.
“The Philippine National Police takes exception to allegations that there are retired and active members of military and police force serving as hitmen for illegal drug syndicates. Let me reiterate that the full force of the law shall be meted against those who have chosen to lean on the side of criminal syndicates,” the PNP chief said.
Gen. Albayalde likewise directed Police Regional Office 7 director, Chief Superintendent Debold M. Sinas to further intensify their operations and hardening measures to identify and arrest these criminals who kill people for a living in Central Visayas.
“I would rather leave it to the PRO7 regional director to clarify further the statements attributed to him by the HRW. Different regional jurisdictions have its own peculiar characteristics and prevailing situations. And I think the situation in Central Visayas cannot be said of the situation in the 16 other regions of the country,” the country’s top cop said.
“We do not need to add more to the call of the Human Rights Watch for an independent probe of killings of drug suspects. I reiterate that the PNP’s flagship campaign against illegal drugs has been relentless and unforgiving especially against the very few who may have chosen to violate their oaths as servants and protectors of the people,” he stressed.
Gen. Albayalde said their massive internal cleansing program has resulted to the dismissal of more than 500 police officers for illegal drug-related offenses. He added that the neutralization by CITF of 101 police crooks, nine of them killed including the most recent one in Dipolog City “manifests our strong and determined resolve to cleanse our ranks of misfits and scalawags.”
Last Monday evening, PNP Counter-Intelligence Task Force agents under Senior Supt. Romeo M. Caramat Jr. shot dead Supt. Santiago Rapiz, a logistics officer of the Zamboanga del Norte Police Provincial Office during a firefight in Dipolog City.
Caramat said the gunbattle broke out when Rapiz sensed he was dealing with an undercover officer and attempted to fight the CIDG officers. Recovered from the slain suspect’s possession were some P50,000 worth of shabu and a chamber-loaded caliber .45 pistol.
Rapiz was included on the list of President Duterte as a ‘Ninja Cop’ and was transferred from the Western Visayas police force to the Western Mindanao police regional office in 2016. He was identified as a protector of slain Western Visayas drug lord Melvin Odicta.