The government’s plan to bring the Philippine National Police (PNP) back to its war on drugs raises suspicions about its sincerity in solving the drug problem and its real objectives, according to Partido Liberal senators.
“Bakit ibabalik sa PNP? Kumpiyansa na ba tayo na wala nang mga mapang-abusong kapulisan? Wala namang malinaw na cleansing, wala pa rin accountability. Dapat itong pag-isipan nang maigi, dahil kung babalik lang naman ulit ang mga pagpatay at madadamay ulit ang mga inosente at walang-laban, baka tuluyan nang magalit ang mga tao,” said Liberal president Sen. Francis Pangilinan.
“Kitang-kita naman na may pinapaboran ang kampanya ng pamahalaang ito. Kapag mahirap ang sangkot, patay agad, pero kapag malapit sa pamahalaan ang nadawit, walang sabit,” added Pangilinan, referring to the Department of Justice’s decision to clear Bureau of Customs officials in the smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of shabu into the country.
Sen. Frank Drilon stressed that if the government is serious in its drug war, it should use all possible means to pursue those behind the drug shipment and find out the identity of a certain “Tita Nanie”.
Customs broker Mark Taguba named “Tita Nanie” as the one behind the influential “Davao Group”, whom he approached to facilitate the entry of his shipments.
“Sa tagal na ng imbestigasyon ng Senado, hanggang ngayon hindi pa rin matukoy ng DOJ kung sino talaga itong si Tita Nanie na sinasabing nasa likod ng Davao Group,” said Sen. Drilon.
Sen. Bam Aquino, for his part, questioned the seriousness and focus of the government’s war against illegal drugs.
“If the government is serious in its campaign, it should focus on the big-time syndicates. It should also take a more comprehensive view of the problem and look into the health aspect of drug addiction,” said Aquino.
Earlier, the three senators condemned the DOJ’s move to clear Customs officials, led by former commissioner Nicanor Faeldon and directors Milo Maestrecampo and Neil Estrella, in the P6.4-billion shabu smuggling. Also cleared were Customs intelligence officers Joel Pinawin and Oliver Valiente, lawyers Jeleena Magsuci and Philip Maronilla, and personnel Alexandra Ventura, Randolph Cabansag, Dennis Maniego, Dennis Cabildo, and John Edillor.
The DOJ found probable cause to charge several others for importation of dangerous drugs, including Richard Tan, owner of the Valenzuela warehouse where the shabu shipment was found, businessman Kenneth Dong, Manny Li, customs fixer Mark Ruben Taguba II, EMT Trading owner Eirene Mae Tatad, broker Teejay Marcellana, Chen Min, Jhu Ming Jhun and Chen Rong Huan, and other unidentified individuals known only as John Doe, Jane Doe, and George Doe.