A Philippine National Police (PNP) member was allegedly found to be a member of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
This Sunday, PNP Chief Gen Guillermo Eleazar presented Masckur Adoh Patarasa, who was arrested last Friday in a joint police operation.
Patarasa, also known as alias “Makong” or “Omair Sali Taib,” is facing a kidnapping case with serious illegal detention in a court in Isabela City, Basilan, according to Eleazar.
Patarasa is also said to be a finance and logistics liaison officer of Dawla Islamiya and Abu Sayyaf Group and a participant in Martial Law Arrest Order No. 1 during the Marawi siege in 2017.
The investigation revealed that Patarasa planned to send funds to Abu Sayyaf members who were fighting in Marawi.
Patarasa is also said to be the brother-in-law of Isnilon Hapilon, one of the leaders on the side of the terrorists in the Marawi siege.
In 2015, Patarasa, an active non-uniformed personnel at the Banguingui Municipal Police Station in Sulu, joined the PNP.
According to Eleazar, the screening of applicants entering the PNP will be tightened.
Cop found to be a member of Abu Sayyaf Group
“Kaya ayaw natin na makapasok sila sa palakasan or padrino system,” said Eleazar.
Eleazar explained that the PNP is still conducting a background investigation on its personnel even though they have been in the service for several years.
According to Eleazar, Patarasa will be suspended from service, facing 7 cases filed against him.
It is also being investigated whether Patarasa has other accomplices within the PNP.
In May, Eleazar committed that he would eradicate the “padrino” system in the police organization.
Eleazar said eliminating the “padrino” system would allow more qualified applicants to enter the PNP.
“Naging kalakaran na kasi na kung papasok ka ng PNP, kailangan may kilala ka, otherwise baka mai-slash ka or hindi mapili. Sa recruitment pa lang, nagkakaroon na ng korapsyon,” Eleazar said.
(It has become common practice in joining the PNP. You have to know someone. Otherwise, you might end up being cut or ignored. As early as the corruption stage, there’s corruption.)