MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Panfilo Lacson has bared a new modus operandi by crooked police officers to avoid prosecution: they file drug charges after forcing their victims to pay them not to proceed with the case.
Lacson made the disclosure over the weekend in renewing his call for Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa to intensify efforts to cleanse the PNP of scalawags abusing the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.
Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa
The senator cited a case of a hotel in Binondo, Manila where a raiding team planted drugs and demanded P3 million from the owner. After the owner gave P1 million, he was still subjected to an inquest before the prosecutor for alleged possession of illegal drugs.
“These crooked policemen have learned from mistakes. In the past, when money changed hands, there was word of honor. But now there’s none of that because they think what they’re doing was dishonorable
anyway,” the senator, who chairs the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, said.
“It’s (filing charges after extorting money) like a built-in defense so they can tell their superior that there was no extortion because they’ve filed charges,” he said.
Lacson last week presented a video of a group of police officers raiding an office and planting drugs to extort money during the hearing of the committee into the kidnapping and killing of 53-year old Korean executive Jee Ick-joo by police officers.
He said these cases of “tokhang-for-ransom” or extorting money using “Oplan Tokhang” or the operation to capture drug suspects were hurting the image of the PNP.
Lacson said victims did not report their ordeal to the police out of fear and lack of trust.
Sen. Grace Poe urged Dela Rosa and President Duterte to make good their public pronouncements to go after erring cops.
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