POLICEMAN YIELDS P3-M SHABU IN BUY BUST
FRANCIS EARL CUETO
The Manila Times
AN active member of the Philippine National Police (PNP) yielded at least P3 million worth of shabu in a buy-bust operation of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Caloocan City on Thursday evening. A report released on Friday said the operation of the PDEA Regional Office National Capital Region Northern District was conducted at around 5 p.m. Thursday. It was done along Zabarte Road, Almar, Barangay 172, Caloocan City. The suspect was identified as Cpl. Mark Jefferson Lopez, assigned to the Caloocan City Police Substation 13. Also arrested was a certain John Raster Jaie Muñoz. Confiscated were three knottied transparent plastic bags of about 500 grams of suspected shabu with an estimated value of P3.4 million, a PNP-issued firearm Glock 17 with serial number 2102, pistol magazine, 19 pieces of 9mm live ammunition, PNP identification card, two units of mobile phones, and boodle money. They are charged with violation of Republic Act 9165 or the “Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.” Meanwhile, Northern Police District chief BGen. Ulysses Cruz has ordered the administrative relief of the Substation 13 commander, assistant commander, shift supervisor, and team members of Lopez. “All of them were disarmed of their service firearm and placed under Camp Restriction pending the in-depth investigation which covers Lopez’s current and previous designation,” Cruz said in a statement. “We do not condone the wrongdoings and irregularities of our erring personnel. I will assure the public that they will feel and face the full force of the law,” he added. The arrest came a day after PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. warned his men that he will go after rogue policemen. Azurin acknowledged that the number of policemen who were suspended or demoted after being found guilty of administrative charges has declined over the past years. He said that among the 227,652 PNP personnel from 2019 to 2021, about 32,520 or 14.28 percent, have been investigated for various administrative cases, while 26,815 or 82.46 percent neglected their duties, 3,577 or 11 percent due to misconduct and 1,032 or 3.17 percent due to irregularity in the performance of duty.