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Senate probe on ‘ninja cops’ turning political – Panelo

/ 12:35 AM October 05, 2019

MOSCOW — The Senate committee hearing that started as an investigation into the good conduct credit law and unexpectedly turned into “ninja cops” probe has become political, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

In a chance interview with reporters after the Philippines-Russia forum here on Friday, Panelo said he could not understand why the Senate justice committee probe was making it appear that the administration’s drug war was failing.

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“Alam mo, (ang) ayaw ko dito sa (You know what I don’t like about the) Senate investigation. I’m just saying my piece. I cannot even understand why…parang pinalalabas nilang ang administrasyon eh (they’re trying to make it appear that the administration is) failing [in] the drug (war). Parang nagiging politika, yun ang nakikita ko diyan (I think it’s being politicized),” he said.

Pressed further on why he thinks so, he said: Eh di ko nga maintindihan eh. Basta nagkakaroon ng kulay ito,” he said.

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(I just can’t understand. It’s just there’s politics here.)

“Supposed to be nagumpisa yan sa (it was supposedly called to investigate the) good (conduct time allowance) lang tapos napunta kung saan-saan, napunta na sa drugs (then it deviated to drugs). Something is wrong, somewhere,” he added.

The Senate committee started investigating the implementation of the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law after the foiled release of rape and murder convict former Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez.

During the marathon hearings, allegations of irregularities within the Bureau of Corrections (Bucor) started to unravel.

The Senate committee, led by Senator Richard Gordon then, then asked former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong to testify.

It was then that he revealed the alleged drug recycling scheme perpetrated by some corrupt policemen. They recycle illegal drugs seized from legitimate operations and reintroduce them to the market for a cheaper price.

Magalong also alleged that high-ranking police officials were involved in the said scheme.

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Panelo said he and some observers had noticed the sudden departure of the Senate investigation from its original purpose: the GCTA mess.

Asked whether he was questioning the Senate hearing’s credibility, Panelo said: “No, what I’m just wondering why…there is now some political color in it.”

“Parang pinalalabas nila masama ang administrasyon (It’s like they’re trying to paint the administration in a bad light),” he added.

“I’m just expressing my observation,” he further said./ac

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