INTERIOR Secretary Benhur Abalos called on full colonels and generals of the Philippine National Police to submit their courtesy resignations after saying that top officials in the agency are involved in the illegal drug trade.
Abalos said the move was necessary in order to cleanse the ranks. There are some 300 colonels and generals in the police force, Abalos said.
“Mabigat itong gagawin natin. This is a very radical approach to the problem,” Abalos said in a press briefing.
It was the only way to make a “fresh start,” he added.
He also said his call to the top officials was an “appeal,” not a directive. But he said those who are not involved in wrongdoing should have nothing to fear.
“Kung wala kang ginagawang masama, mag file ka. At kung di ka magfa-file, medyo questionable,” he said.
Since what the officials would file would be a courtesy resignation, they would stay in their posts until this is accepted, he said.
Committee of five
Abalos said a committee of five would evaluate the courtesy resignations and decide on the fate of the top officials.
He declined to disclose the identity of the committee members for security reasons, but he said they are really “trustworthy.” He would not be part of the committee, he said.
According to Abalos, it was necessary to ask top officials to file their courtesy resignation so that serious moves could be taken to address the illegal drug problem.
“Mahirap lumaban sa giyera na ultimo mo kakampi mo ang babaril sa likod mo,” he said.
He does not want to risk the lives of operatives who would go after the illegal drug trade when their superiors are involved in the activity, he said.
He also said the PNP must rid its ranks of the tainted members in order to restore the public’s trust in law enforcers.
“Pagkatapos namin pag-aralan ng ilang buwan ang problema natin, lumabalas na malaki ang problema sa kapulisan. Lumalabas na merong mga general, merong mga colonel na sangkot sa droga,” he said.
He said the links of top officials to the drug trade were made evident after the arrest of a drug suspect who then identified a police officer as involved in the operation. Police subsequently arrested Master Sgt. Rodolfo Mayo Jr., a member of the PNP Drug Enforcement Group Special Operation Unit.
The PNP also arrested the Southern District Office chief of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Enrique Lucero, and two agents in a separate drug bust.
Banner photo: Office of the Press Secretary