“Well, it seems to me that, at the very least, he’s a protector cop.”
That is how President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday described Senior Supt. Francisco Ebreo, whom he had fired as Bacolod police director, for allegedly “enabling” the proliferation of illegal drugs in Bacolod City.
Duterte fired Ebreo and four other cops, and also linked Bacolod Councilor Ricardo “Cano” Tan to the illegal drug trade in his speech at the birthday party of Leo Rey Yanson, Vallacar Transit president and chief executive officer, at L’Fisher Hotel in Bacolod City, Saturday.
The four others fired were Senior Supt. Allan Rubi Macapagal - Bacolo d police deputy city director for operation, Supt. Richie Makilan Yatar, Supt. Nasruddin Daud Tayuan, and Senior Insp. Victor Paulino, Chief Supt. John Bulalacao, director of the Police Regional Office 6, said.
Philippine National Police chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde, on Monday said Ebreo was neither on the PNP’s drugs watch list or that of the President’s.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Region 6 also said the five cops and the councilor were not on its illegal drugs watch list.
But Duterte, in an ambush interview in Malacañang yesterday, a transcript of which was obtained by the DAILY STAR, said “He (Ebreo) might not be into the trafficking business but he was really a protector”.
“I can’t believe that with all the information available to every chief of police or city police director, for that matter assigned in the province, that they would not review the record of the province in terms of criminality and drug trafficking,” Duterte said.
Duterte also took aim at Ebreo for going to the Dr. Pablo O. Torre Memorial Hospital after Tan and his wife were ambushed in Purok Tagaytay, Brgy. Alangilan, Bacolod City, on December 14.
“And you know there was this – si Cano, a councilor who has been tagged by the PDEA almost a decade ago to be engaged in trafficking, na-ambush. Eh nag-aaway daw. There were about three ambushes before that incident na pumunta sila sa ospital. Silang dalawang deputy niya,” Duterte added.
He did not explain where the three ambushes he was referring to took place since the media that night only reported one ambush.
“What’s the f*** business you are going to the hospital of a — ambush ng drug lord, tapos nag-iwan pa sila ng dalawang security (and they left two security men)?” he added.
The President said he could understand if Ebreo sent a topnotch investigator of the police. “Pero kung silang dalawa mismo (but if it was the two of them themselves) the first and the second highest police officials of the city. Nagtataka ako kung bakit ganun (I am wondering why it was like that). Strange behavior,” he said.
Tan, who has not issued any comment on the President’s statements, has in the past, repeatedly denied any involvement in the illegal drug trade.
The PDEA 6 this week said Tan was not on their drug watchlist, too.
The PNP and PDEA, however, said that, in the light of the president’s revelations, they would conduct investigations on the five cops and Tan.*
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