Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO) director Col. Jonathan Cabal, usually mild-mannered in interviews, channeled his inner President Duterte as he said that he would “kill” those under his command proven to be among the so-called “ninja cops.”
“Papatayin ko sila [ninja cops],” said Cabal in an interview on Tuesday.
Cabal however said that so far there has been no information indicating that a Bohol police officer is involved in the use and the pilfering of confiscated illegal drugs—an issue that has swept the entire nation and implicated the nation’s top cop Director General Oscar Albayalde.
Sunstar Cebu last week reported that nine Central Visayas police officers were dismissed after proven to be drug users, but Cabal said that he was with Police Regional Office 7 director Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas on Monday and he was not told of any drug-linked BPPO cop who has been axed.
“Wala sa Bohol. Kapag meron, sasabihin ko agad,” said Cabal.
Meanwhile, Cabal expressed dismay over comments made by netizens over social media that illegal drugs seized by local cops are being “recycled” or resold, particularly after the BPPO Provincial Intelligence Branch seized suspected shabu worth P10.2 million from a man deemed a high-value target in the police’s drug watch list in Tagbilaran City last Sunday.
Cabal called on BPPO officers not to be affected by the “insinuations.”
“Dahil dun sa mga ninja cops, pati kami dito naiisipan ng netizens na merong ganung nangyayari. Pero sabi ko ‘wag tayo magpapaapekto basta tayo magtrabaho lang tayo,” he said.
The issue on “ninja cops” is now being investigated by the Department of Interior and Local Government.
Albayalde’s name has been dragged into the controversy after Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Aaron Aquino and Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong accused the police general of intervening in the dismissal of 13 alleged ninja cops in Pampanga when he was still the top cop of Metro Manila in 2016.
According to Cabal, the BPPO continues to support Albayalde.
“Automatic yun [support]. May rule of law naman tayo. Wala pang napapatunayan, at may presumption of innocence. Lagi namang ganun,” he said.
Cabal took over as BPPO chief in August. Since then, the number of anti-illegal drug operations in Bohol has more than tripled compared to the average number of operations conducted in the previous seven months of 2019.
BPPO data indicated that 100 anti-illegal drug operations were carried out by the various police units in the province for the month of August while police conducted 33 operations in January, 40 in February, 50 in March, 33 in April, 14 in May, 30 in June and 22 in July, averaging 31.7 operations each month for the first seven months of the year. (R. Tutas)