5 of 18 resigned PNP officials tagged in 2014 drug ‘matrix’

By: Dexter Cabalza, Julie Aurelio July 31,2023 - 05:27 PM

To serve as a deterrent to their colleagues, the 18 officials of the Philippine National Police who were forced to leave the service due to their alleged links to the drug trade should be charged administratively and criminally, senators said on Wednesday.

MANILA, Philippines — Five of the 18 high-ranking officials whose courtesy resignations were accepted by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for their involvement in illegal drugs were among the 30 police officers identified in a drug matrix prepared by another police official who was murdered in 2014.

Colonels Rogarth Campo, Rommel Ochave, Rommel Velasco, Robin King Sarmiento and Dario Menor were among those implicated in a drug ring run by drug lords serving sentences in New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.

The diagram was prepared by then-Chief Insp. Elmer Santiago before he was shot dead in an ambush on April 16, 2014, in Mandaluyong City.

Then PNP chief Gen. Alan Purisima ordered the relief of the implicated officials, but said no further word on the supposed investigation. The implicated officials even managed to get promoted to higher ranks over the past nine years.

According to an Inquirer report at that time, the matrix was supposed to be submitted to Purisima in a meeting to be arranged by one of Santiago’s classmates in the Philippine National Police Academy Class of 1996.

But instead of handing the letter to Purisima, “his classmate gave the intelligence report to police officers included in the list.”

For House deputy minority leader Rep. France Castro, all the 18 officials whose courtesy resignations were accepted should be held accountable and their pensions withheld.

“If the reasons for the acceptance of their resignations are indeed strong, these drug cops should be punished and not be coddled. If government employees facing charges also end up having their benefits suspended, why are police officers involved in cases treated differently?” she asked.

She pushed for “appropriate consequences” for the 18 police officials with alleged links to illegal drugs.

“What kind of justice system would remove drug cops from their posts and still give them pensions, especially when we are already grappling with a fiscal crisis caused by the hefty pensions of police and military personnel?” Castro said.


Ochave stays at CPPO pending official communication from Crame — Pelare


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TAGS: drug matrix, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., illegal drugs, PNP, resignation

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