The existence of the so-called “ninja cops” is the issue. This has been sidetracked by the investigation into whether PNP chief Oscar Albayalde Jr. had been involved in their cases or not. Yes, that is an important issue that should be pursued. It’s important to establish if he had really intervened in the case of the ninja cops, because he now holds the most important position in the police hierarchy and he has made many hard-hitting pronouncements against those involved in drugs. It would really be the height of hypocrisy if he himself had been protecting his people and his friends in their involvement in the drug trade. That should be investigated!

But there is a more serious issue that should not be sidestepped, that is, the presence of the ninja cops in the police force. The ninja cops are those involved in the recycling of drugs confiscated and the tradeoffs being done by the police itself with those involved in the drug trade. Benjamin Magalong’s bold revelation of the ninja cops confirms what has long been the belief of many people – that the police itself is part of the drug problem. The PNP is the main agency used by Duterte in his so-called drug war. They are the ones used in the many “tokhang” operations and in the killings of the victims dubbed as “nanlaban.” What a sham that those who fight against drugs are the ones tolerating and even profiting from it! Pinaglalaruan lang tayo! And what causes my blood to boil is that this is not just a mere game. Thousands of lives are snuffed out in this charade and so many thousands more – those orphaned – are made to suffer all their lives.

If the ninja cops existed in Pampanga at that time in 2013, it is reasonable to believe that they still exist now and in so many other places all over the country. It may even be a cancer in the whole police force. What is being done to investigate this and eventually to eradicate this practice? It is not just a matter of some generals doing it. Again, the usual tune of Duterte in cases involving high-ranking people is to threaten them and to say that several people will be sacked. But who are they? He did not even mention the names of the generals he had threatened. In a short time, the issue would be laid to rest – forgotten!

If his own people are accused, the usual disclaimer is that there is no proof and that they are presumed innocent until proven guilty. But what about the thousands who were killed without any investigation at all and, in hundreds of cases, shot due to mistaken identity? Is the presumption of innocence true only for certain people and not for all?

The politicians and leaders of the country should demand that the existence of the ninja cops be investigated. The people should know what is being done to cleanse the police force of these rogue cops. Mere pronouncements are not enough. The drug problem is not being solved because the cops themselves are involved in them, even up to now! This is a very strong suspicion among the people.

Broderick Pabillo
October 10, 2019