Senate cites for contempt ex-cop Mayo, superior Ibanez over ₱6.7-B drug haul

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 23) — The Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs on Tuesday cited for contempt two other police officers from the Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG) in connection with the massive haul of ₱6.7-billion worth of illegal drugs in a Manila raid last year.

Senator Robinhood Padilla made the motion to cite dismissed officer Rodolfo Mayo, while Senator Raffy Tulfo made the motion on Lt. Col. Arnulfo Ibañez. Both motions had no objections from their colleagues.

Mayo was arrested last year after police seized 990 kilos of shabu from the WPD Lending Office in Tondo, Manila, an establishment he allegedly owned.

However, the dismissed cop told the Senate panel that he has no idea who brought the illegal drugs to his property.

Mayo chose to invoke his right to remain silent in most of the senators’ queries.

On the other hand, Ibañez said he did not have “personal knowledge” regarding the shabu seized from his subordinate’s lending office.

But Tulfo said that Ibañez should be aware of the activities of his staff.

“You are now telling us that you don’t know anything about his activities? For me, that’s a big, big lie. Nobody will believe you,” he said. “Sino maniniwala sa ‘yo na bata mo na nirekomenda mo, makakabuo ng 990 kgs on his own? (Who will believe that someone you recommended will be able to acquire 990 kgs just on his own?)”

On the other hand, committee chairperson Senator Ronald dela Rosa advised the Senate Sergeant at Arms office to keep an eye on Mayo.

“I-monitor lang ninyo kapag na-dismiss yung kanyang kaso at ito ay napawalang sala dahil due to technicality. Alam kong i-exploit ng kanyang mga abogado yung technicalities ng kanyang pagka-aresto, dahil lumabas na yung mga kapalpakan na ginagawa ngayon ng PDEG,” he said.

[Translation: Just monitor him if his case is dismissed and he gets acquitted due to technicality. I’m aware that his legal team will exploit the technicalities of his arrest, because the flaws of PDEG are now being revealed.]

Dela Rosa also told the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology to turn over Mayo to the Senate’s custody if ever he gets acquitted.

Three other police officers were also cited in contempt in the previous hearing in connection with the controversial anti-illegal drug operation.