INTERIOR and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr., late Monday evening ordered a police general and nine other PNP officials to go on leave pending a probe on the alleged cover up of the 990 kilos of shabu seized from a cop in 2022.
Abalos said the officers must take a leave of absence pending investigation of the 990 kilograms of shabu haul equivalent to P6.7 billion confiscated in a drug raid October last year as there is a “massive attempt to cover-up” the case.
During a late evening press briefing, Abalos showed a closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage which is now serving as evidence to the fact-finding board headed by the National Police Commission Vice Chairperson Alberto Bernardo to which it shows that several officers from the Philippine National Police were on the site on the day of the operations.
“Parang iba ang nangyari dun sa mga report na na-file ng PNP kasama na ang mga dokumento at mga testimonials na ibinigay ng police officers,” he said.
“It shows that there is indeed a massive attempt to cover up the arrest of Master Sergeant Rodolfo Mayo, Jr.” Abalos added.
Mayo is the owner of the lending office where the illegal drugs were seized. He is now dismissed from the police service and currently facing three counts of grave misconduct and conduct unbecoming of a police officer.
The police officers seen in the footage were: Police Lieutenant General Benjamin Santos, Jr. who was then Deputy Chief PNP for Operations; Police Brigadier General Narciso Domingo, director of the PNP Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG); Police Colonel Julian Olonan, chief of PDEG Special Operations Unit (SOU) Region 4A; Police Captain Jonathan Sosongco, head of the PDEG SOU 4A arrest team; PLtCol Arnulfo Ibañez, OIC of PDEG SOU NCR; Police Major Michael Angelo Salmingo, deputy of PDEG SOU NCR; PLtCol Glenn Gonzales of Quezon City Police District; PLt Ashrap Amerol, intelligence officer of PDEG Intelligence and Foreign Liaison Dvision; PLtCol Harry Lorenzo, Manila PD Moriones Station Commander, and; PCapt Randolph Piñon, chief of PDEG SOU 4A Intelligence Section.
“I am giving them within this week to file their leave of absences pending investigation. Kung hindi magli-leave, sususpindehin natin sila,” Abalos said, stressing that the call for leave is to maintain integrity of the probe and the pieces of evidence.
The DILG Chief also believed that the said police officers are not the only ones involved in the case.
“The buck doesn’t stop here. Malawak ito. Mahabang laban ito,” he said.
Catherine R. Cueto