PDEA chief's police escorts removed after 'ninja cops' revelation

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 30 2019 08:52 AM | Updated as of Sep 30 2019 09:07 AM

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MANILA - The police escorts of anti-drug agency chief Aaron Aquino were recalled amid the recent exposé on "ninja cops" or policemen who recycle illegal drugs seized from operations.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Dir. Gen. Aaron Aquino said his 15 police escorts were recalled for additional security for the SEA Games in November.

This was confirmed by Police Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, spokesman of the Philippine National Police, who said police personnel from Central Luzon assigned to government officials have been recalled.

Aquino said he appealed to Police Brig. Gen. Joel Coronel to restore his security detail as he has received many death threats.

"I asked him na napakataas ng death threat ko and hindi ako makakagalaw pag ni-recall nila. Pero hindi ako pinakinggan eh. In spite of that, pinae-explain pa lahat ng tao ko bakit hindi nagrereport or what," he told radio DZMM.

(I asked him because I receive many death threats and I can't move if they recall my security. They did not listen. In spite of that, they asked my men to explain why they were not reporting.)

Aquino said he has discussed the matter with President Rodrigo Duterte last Wednesday, who gave verbal instruction to reinstate his police escorts.

"Hindi ko po alam kung alam ni Presidente. Medyo nagtaka po kung bakit narerecall yung security ko," he said.

(I don't know if the President was aware. He seemed puzzled why my security detail was being recalled.)

"Pina-pull out ko yung tao ko nang hindi nagpapaalam kasi may verbal instruction naman na ng Presidente. Naibalik naman sa akin. Sabi ko by force na lang na umalis sila kasi ayaw silang payagang bumalik sa akin."

(I told my men to pull out without notice because there was already a verbal instruction from the President. They're now with me. I told them to leave because they were not being allowed to go back to me.)

Banac, however, said the PNP has yet to receive information about the President's order. 

"Ang assurance naman po ng regional director doon ay ito ay pansamantala lamang. Agad namang ibabalik sila sa kanilang VIPs," he said.

(The regional director gave an assurance that this would be temporary. Police escorts would be assigned back to their VIPs.)

2019 SEA Games