3 cops axed for failure to detect drug den’s use of minors

MANILA — Three Navotas police officers were relieved from their posts for allegedly failing to detect drug activities which involve minors who were rescued in a recent operation in the city.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde ordered the relief of Navotas Police Community Precinct (PCP) 3 head Insp. Resty Descalzo, PO3 Randy Belly and PO1 Jejomar Padasas, both assigned at the station’s intelligence branch.

Albayalde said it is not acceptable that the police officers failed to monitor such illegal act, adding that they will face investigation on their possible liabilities over the matter.

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, Director Guillermo Eleazar said the three police officers will be assigned at the Northern Police District (NPD) Headquarters’ Support Service pending the results of the investigation.

“SPO4 Bonifacio De Guzman will be officer-in-charge in PCP 3,” Eleazar said in a text message sent to Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Last January 16, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) operatives rescued 12 minors, aged four to 15 years old, and arrested two notorious drug suspects in alleged drug dens at Navotas Fishport in Barangay North Bay Boulevard.

Based on actual video surveillance footage, the rescued minors were used either as runners, pushers, or drug den maintainers, and were even shown facilitating and participating in the pot sessions.

PDEA earlier said they will file cases against the parents of minors rescued in the operation.

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said the parents are liable for violation of Republic Act 7610, or the “Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act”.

According to Aquino, the children belong to their homes under their parents’ care, not in the streets where they are exposed to danger at such a young age.

Once proven that they coerced, forced, or intimidated their children to be involved in illegal drug trafficking, or pushing, the parents will also be held responsible under Section 10 (e) of RA 7610.

If found guilty, they will suffer the penalty of imprisonment of six years and one day to eight years. PNA –

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