PDEA, PNP asset confirms seized illegal drugs rewarded to informants — lawmaker

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 14) — Up to 70% of the illegal drugs seized by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) are reportedly being given as rewards to informants after a successful law enforcement operation.

The alleged recycling of illegal drugs was reportedly revealed by an asset of the PNP and PDEA in an executive session during the hearing of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, according to committee chairman Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers.

The executive session was closed off to the media.

In a statement from Barbers, the asset claimed that between 30% and 70% of the illegal drugs confiscated during raids, which are called “basura,” are given to informants.

“Yung mga ninja cops order the assets or informants to sell yung ‘basura’ sa kalsada. Kapag nabenta na ito, binabalik nila yung cash, may porsyento doon yung asset or informer,” the lawmaker said.

[Translation: The ninja cops order the assets or informants to sell the ‘basura’ on the streets. When it is sold, they return the cash, the asset or informer gets a percentage.]

Barbers refused to disclose the identity of the source who faced lawmakers, only saying that the supposed asset is “deeply entrenched” in the feeding of information to authorities.

“Alam niya yung kalakaran sa loob," he stressed. "Sabi niya matagal na rin siya sa ganyang sistema at kalakaran so he knows personalities, he knows a lot of modus yung kanilang mga rogue PNP and PDEA members."

[Translation: He knows how things work inside. He said he has been in that system for a long time so he knows personalities, he knows a lot of modus of their rogue PNP and PDEA members.]

Before the executive session began, PDEA and PNP officials admitted that it is “highly possible” some of the seized illegal drugs are given to informants.

Yet, neither agency admitted that it is their practice to reward assets with a portion of the confiscated illegal substances.

“The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency wants to correct the erroneous impression that there is a PDEA policy involving the handing out of non-monetary incentives like recycled illicit drugs. To the best of my knowledge, it has never been a prevailing practice in the PDEA rewards system,” PDEA Director General Moro Virgilio Lazo said.

“It is not the policy of the PNP to recycle drugs in any illegal drugs operations and when we use informants or actual agents, we see to it that it is documented and covered by case operation plans,” PNP Deputy Director for Operations PBGen. Allan Nobleza maintained.

Despite this, Barbers said he believes that the alleged recycling of illegal drugs has already become a practice as he claimed that informants have access to illegal drug syndicates.

“Kumbaga nai-involve na rito yung assets or informers kasi nakaka-penetrate na siya sa loob ng mga nagbebenta o sa loob ng drug lords o sindikato," he said. "‘Pag nakakuha siya ng information doon, siguro ngayon he’s becoming more enterprising. Nagbebenta siya at humihingi siya ng porsyento sa pinagbentahan."

[Translation: It seems that the assets or informers are already involved because he is able to access the sellers or the drug lords or syndicates. Once he gets information inside, maybe he's becoming more enterprising. He sells and he asks for a percentage of the sales.]

In October last year, Police Master Sergeant Rodolfo Mayo Jr., a member of the PNP Drug Enforcement Group Special Operations Unit in the National Capital Region, was arrested in an operation that yielded P6.7-billion worth of crystal meth or shabu in Tondo, Manila. He owned the lending firm where the illegal drugs were discovered.

Barbers said the panel will hold another hearing on the alleged recycling of seized illegal drugs.