January 29, 2023

Juan Kabayan

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Marcos: ‘Narco’ cops will go to jail

(UPDATE) PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Friday promised that police officers involved in the illegal drug trade will go to jail.

Speaking to reporters after an inspection of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3, Marcos confirmed that Interior Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. had his go signal in asking for the courtesy resignation of police generals and colonels to force out the officers in league with drug traffickers.

“Alam naman natin na ‘yung problema sa drugs hindi mangyayari ‘yan kung hindi kasabwat ‘yung mga iba diyan sa police (We know that the drug problem would not have happened if some police officers were not involved),” Marcos said.

The cleansing of the Philippine National Police (PNP) will make sure that the officials who are left are working for the government, not for other drug syndicates, he said.

The President said a commission will be formed to look into the records of all ranking police officers.

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Those with severe cases might be prosecuted, he said.

“We’ll see first. We’re not yet there. Because the senator is a top-notcher lawyer. He understands. We have to build a case,” Marcos said, referring to Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd who criticized Abalos’ mass resignation request.

Pimentel has described Abalos’ request as “unfair and illogical.”

“Why not pursue the matter on a case-to-case basis? Identify the crooked and prosecute them,” he said.

“I find that ‘call’ or ‘request’ very strange and too broad as it will also affect those who are truly innocent and even those who are outstanding in their jobs,” Pimentel added.

Last Thursday, the PNP chief, Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr., submitted his courtesy resignation, one of the first to answer Abalos’ request.

As the head of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Abalos exercises supervision over the 227,000-strong PNP.

On Friday, Azurin called on the group of supposed “innocent PNP 3rd Level Officers” who released an open letter urging him to step down from his post to come out in the open.

“So ang ano diyan inosente pala sila bakit ayaw nila magpakilala, dapat lumabas sila because they are innocent (So they claim they are innocent. Why don’t they come out? They claim they are innocent),” Azurin said.

Azurin said that while “drastic,” the cleansing process will help the organization as a whole as it would separate the good from the bad.

“Nandidito tayo ngayon sa cleansing process na kung saan inuna nga natin ang mga third-level officers natin na isumite nila voluntarily ‘yung kanilang sarili dahil sabi nga these are the future leaders, these are the future officers that will be leading the PNP organization (We are already asking our third-level officers to submit themselves voluntarily because they are the future leaders, the future officers that will be leading the PNP organization),” he said.

The Metro Manila Council (MMC) has issued a resolution supporting Abalos’ appeal for the courtesy resignation of the PNP’s top-echelon officials.

“As a manifestation of their professionalism and patriotism, all PNP colonels and generals must immediately tender their courtesy resignation in order to preserve and protect the credibility of the police organization and remove any and all doubts on its public reputation and stature,” the one-page resolution stated in part.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Acting Chairman Romando Artes said that as public officials, the police must, at all times, be accountable to the people and uphold their sworn duty to serve and protect.

“The Metro Manila mayors are one with DILG Secretary Abalos’ call to restore public trust to the PNP that is one of the agencies leading the country’s war against illegal drugs,” Artes said.

The MMC, made up of the local chief executives of the metropolis, is the policy and governing body of the MMDA.