LEGAZPI CITY, July 11 (PNA) ---The 13 drug personalities arrested by a combined team of lawmen in Bicol during a buy-bust operation in Camarines Sur on July 2 have identified three police officers from the Naga City Police Office as their coddlers or protectors.
Police Sr. Supt.Marlon Tejada, head of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Bicol, said the drug personalities arrested by the joint team of CIDG-5, National Bureau of Investigation-5 and Regional Public Safety Battalion of the Philippine National Police (PNP) had told probers the police officers regularly collect or ask money from them.
He said the drug personalities nabbed in the buy-bust operation in Purok Isla Sison, Barangay Penafrancia, Naga City, narrated how the police officers would ask for money as a trade off for not arresting them .
“Aside from the money, sometimes the suspected coddlers would ask for shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) or both shabu and money,” said Tejada.
He said the three police officers are members of Police Station 3 that covers the so- called "Isla Sison” area in Barangay Penafrancia.
“They are a Police Officer 1 or PO1 and two Police Officers 2 or PO2,” he added.
Tejada, however, temporarily withheld their names pending.
He said if Chief Supt.Melvin Ramon Buenafe, director of Police Regional Office 5 (PRO5) would authorize him he would give the names of the erring police officers.
Tejada said he gave the names to Buenafe in his written report but “it’s up to him if he will divulge it.”
Last week, Supt. Allan Ramos, newly installed officer-in-charge of the Naga City Police Office, ordered his men to undergo random drug testing but they were still awaiting results from the Camarines Sur PNP Crime Laboratory.
Earlier, in a police report said that some police officers in the Bicol region were not only involved in the proliferation of illegal drugs but also hooked on using these drugs.
On Friday, all 185 members of the Regional Police Public Safety Battalion based in Camp Gen Simeon Ola, PRO5 headquarters in Legazpi City, Albay, including their Regional Batallion head Senior Supt. Dennis Rellata, submitted to a drug test by the PNP Regional Crime Laboratory.
Members of the six Provincial Safety Companies in Bicol also underwent random drug tests in police stations all over the region, results of which would be submitted to Buenafe and his directorial staff.
President Rodrigo Duterte and Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa earlier declared that should any member of the PNP be found positive for use of illegal drugs they would be subjected to dismissal proceedings under the present administration’s “zero tolerance on illegal drugs.” (PNA) RMA/GVR/JH/CBD