Army vows zero tolerance for ‘narco-troops’

MANILA The Philippine Army (PA) on Thursday said it would not condone any illegal acts of its personnel, including the use and distribution of illegal drugs.

This was stressed by PA spokesperson Lt. Col. Louie Villanueva following the arrest of 2nd Lt. Hamel Abubakar Samsodin, who was assigned at the Camarines Sur-based 9th Infantry Division and his drug-runners, identified as Aslimah Somala Aliba and Mohair Masicuin Mamalampac during a buy-bust operation conducted by police and military units at Sampaguita St, Mapayapa Village 1, Barangay Pasong Tamo, Quezon City around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Confiscated from the suspects, who were all arrested after a brief car chase, were 25 grams of shabu, PHP60,000 in marked money, an Armscor .45 caliber pistol loaded with five bullets, another .45 Swissvale and a magazine clip containing seven rounds, an M-16 replica, six M-16 magazine assemblies with 148 bullets, a hand grenade and a white Hyundai Accent (with conduction sticker MOS5702) which the three tried to use as their getaway vehicle.

"The arrest of subject officer is a product of counter-intelligence which is a constant procedure of monitoring personnel doing anomalous or illegal acts detrimental to the organization. The PA (doesn't) condone any act that is not in conformance to its policy and standard," Villanueva said.

And based on current policies, the PA spokesperson said that any personnel involved in any drug-related activities would face sanctions and immediate dismissal.

"The Army is serious in support of government campaign on illegal drugs, hence it has undertaken at its level programs activities such as mandatory drug test to all personnel establishment of drug-testing facilities in various camps as well as sustain advocacies," the PA spokesperson said.

Samsodin was called to active duty last May 1, 2016 through the Officers' Preparatory Course and took his oath at the Philippine Army Headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

The suspect also underwent a two-month Scout Ranger Orientation Course in Bulacan and a three-month Basic Officer Leadership Course at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija.

Prior to his arrest, he was supposed to be deployed as platoon leader of the 83rd Infantry Battalion in Pili, Camarines Sur.

Source: Philippine News Agency