As former top cops reveal Albayalde’s involvement in ‘ninja cops’ case, Karapatan hits Duterte’s drug war anew

Human rights group Karapatan reiterates its condemnation against Duterte’s sham war on drugs as recent revelations of former top police officials reveal that no less than the President’s current Philippine National Police (PNP) chief has intervened in the case involving the Pampanga ‘ninja cops,’ who were ordered to be dismissed for allegedly recycling illegal drugs that were seized from anti-drug operations.

According to reports, back in 2016, when Albayalde was then regional director for Metro Manila, he made a phone call to Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Director General Aaron Aquino to discuss the case of the ‘ninja cops’ whose names were released over questionable anti-drug operations in 2013. Meanwhile, former Criminal Investigation and Detention Group (CIDG) chief Benjamin Magalong said that Albayalde would know all the details of the operation since he was the Pampanga police chief back in 2013. Magalong and Albayalde are now exchanging tirades with each other over so-called “favors.”
“This sham war on drugs is among the country’s worst failures – one that cannot be deodorized by even forced standing ovations during government functions and questionable survey results. The problems and anomalies just keep propping up, showing us that this drug war is indeed a bogus scheme against criminality. The real criminals are uniformed men who mastermind drug recycling, yet kill poor Filipinos. It shows that the biggest organized crime syndicate in the country, the Duterte government with its State forces, is raking in millions from the illegal drug trade,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said.

“Albayalde's intervention to prevent the removal of police forces involved in alleged drug recycling schemes proves that the regime’s anti-narcotics crusade is nothing but a war on the poor and the critics of the government’s brutal policy. The Duterte government coddles scalawag cops, drug lords, criminals, and plunderers. From the GCTA mess to this, the Senate has been transformed into a circus which will likely end with scapegoating or underhanded arrangement for the protection of Duterte-allied criminals,” remarked Palabay.

Palabay likewise reiterated that “recent developments show that the government’s inflexible and rigid peddling for the sham drug war moves beyond logic. Aside from the changing statistics that magically strip 500-1000 individuals from the PNP’s own data in terms of their documented casualties, the colossal failure of this policy should prompt immediate review of the policy. The Duterte government remains pigheaded and its unchanging militarist policies border on lunacy.”

According to the Karapatan official, the involvement of Albayalde in the recent revelations shows how such militarist policies are doomed from the start. “The Filipino people are being deceived. The truth is, this drug war is being helmed by two-faced criminals. After more than three years, the human rights violations in line with this sham drug war remains alarming, and have yet to be accorded justice. The lives and the rights of the poor were ruthlessly being trampled, while the rich, the ‘drug queens’, the Chinese drug lords are going free or smoothly evading accountability.”

“From Bato dela Rosa to Albayalde, the sham drug war remains brutal. The Duterte government tries to whitewash the violations and deny the many killings sanctioned by this policy, but the families of victims are already taking the initiative to seek justice and accountability for the slaughter of poor Filipinos,” Palabay concluded.