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Philippine military bishop backs probe into police links to drugs

Top police officials being quizzed over allegations that some senior officers are involved in the illegal drug trade

ucanews reporters, Manila

ucanews reporters, Manila

Updated: October 11, 2019 05:42 AM GMT
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Philippine military bishop backs probe into police links to drugs

Bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines. (Photo by Jire Carreon)

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A Philippine military bishop says he backs an ongoing investigation into the alleged involvement of some police generals in the proliferation of the illegal drug trade.

Bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines said the truth behind the allegations must come out because "we cannot condone this."

The Department of Justice has summoned 13 police officers as prosecutors look into a previously dismissed case over alleged "drug recycling" after a police raid in 2013.

The policemen are accused of handing in only 36.68kg of methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as shabu, seized in the drug raid, during which they supposedly confiscated 200kg.

In the Senate, legislators questioned national police chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde, who was accused of having knowledge of the 2013 raid.

A retired police general accused the police chief of trying to prevent the dismissal of the 13 suspected policemen.

Bishop Florencio said the ongoing investigations should get to the bottom of the controversy. "We need to rectify and take the proper and corresponding measures against those who are involved here," he said.

He said he was "saddened and frustrated" that some police officers were allegedly involved in the recycling of seized illegal drugs. "It is but natural that we have to be saddened and frustrated … but we cannot condone this," he said.

Bishop Florencio said seeking the truth and accountability should not take long. "The issue is very sensitive and we pray that it be resolved sooner rather than later as many are affected by it," he said.

He also expressed hope that the allegations leveled against Albayalde will be clarified.

"I wish that these accusations be cleared immediately via the proper procedures of due process because he is entitled to it," said the bishop, adding that "perhaps we can understand why his name is there because of the command responsibility that his office incurs."

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