MANILA, Philippines - A policeman and his companion were caught sniffing shabu in a parked car in Barangay Immaculate Conception, Quezon City Thursday night.
Police Officer 2 Mark Ericson Cañete, 35, “was even in police uniform when he was caught sniffing shabu,” Quezon City Police District director Chief Superintendent Mario dela Vega said in a press conference yesterday.
He said Cañete and his companion, Archibald Arguelles, 34, were arrested by members of the QCPD’s District Special Operations Unit along Hillcrest street at past 6 p.m. Thursday as the lawmen were conducting a surveillance operation following reports that “jueteng” operators were active in the area.
The police officers chanced upon the two men allegedly sniffing shabu in a Honda Civic. They arrested Cañete and Arguelles and confiscated two sachets of shabu, as well as a strip of aluminum foil with traces of shabu, from the two men.
Senior Inspector Roberto Razon, head of the QCPD’s District Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group, said both Cañete and Arguelles tested positive for use of shabu.
Cañete is assigned with the Regional Public Safety Battalion of the Police Regional Office 4-A. He is a resident of Calapan, Mindoro.
Arguelles, on the other hand, is a resident of Tower Condominium along Aurora Boulevard.
The two men refused to comment on the allegations.
Razon said Cañete went to Manila for some errands at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame. “He then sent a text message to his friend (Arguelles) and they met,” he said.
According to Razon, the two agreed to go to the area where they sourced the contraband.
“The plan was after the session, he would go back to Mindoro,” he said.
According Dela Vega, this was part of their “intensified campaign against rogue policemen who bring shame” to the police force.
“I have given standing instructions to arrest even uniformed policemen involved in illegal activities,” the QCPD chief said.
He said they will work on Cañete’s dismissal from the police force.
Charges of illegal possession of illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia and use of dangerous drugs are being readied against Cañete.
“We cannot entrust the safety of our citizens to policemen using drugs,” Dela Vega said. - By Reinir Padua