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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Amid ‘ninja’ cops’ resurgence, DILG chief seeks courtesy resignation of PNP generals, colonels

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Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. called on all senior police officials Wednesday to tender their courtesy resignations in a drastic move aimed at addressing the country’s illegal drugs problem by weeding out alleged drug protectors and even players from the ranks of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The call, which Abalos clarified was not actually an order, covers all police officials from the ranks of colonel, brigadier general and up that may very well include PNP chief General Rodolfo Azurin Jr., was made during a news briefing at Camp Crame.

Azurin and the rest of PNP leadership are yet to issue any official statement on Abalos’ call, which the DILG described as necessary to clean the ranks of the national police from illegal drugs players and protectors.

“Lumalabas na merong mga general, merong mga colonel na sangkot sa droga. At ayon sa rekomendasyon ng PNP at ng ilang kapulisan, ako ay nananawagan sa lahat ng full colonel hanggang sa general…na mag-submit ng courtesy resignation,” Abalos said.

Abalos recalled this was not the first time that all senior police officials have been asked to tender their courtesy resignations as he noted that a similar call had also been made by the late former President Fidel Ramos in 1992 for all senior police officials to submit their courtesy resignations over a corruption issue allegedly involving some police officials then.

Recently, Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, claimed that “ninja” cops, or policemen who are involved in the recycling of illegal drugs seized in police operations, have returned or resurfaced from the ranks of the PNP, and called on the Marcos administration to take drastic actions.

It was dela Rosa who spearheaded the anti-illegal drugs campaign of the Duterte administration as then chief of the PNP.

Abalos said urging the senior officials to submit their resignations was the quickest way for the police organization to make a fresh start, although he admitted that it was a very radical move.

“It is a very radical approach to this problem [illegal drugs], but I do believe [that] we must cleanse our ranks,” the DILG chief said as he admitted that illegal drugs have already infested the ranks of the National Police.

Abalos said a committee made up of five members would “filter” the officials, including looking into their backgrounds to determine whether they should be removed from the service or retained.

He and Azurin would not be a part of the body, whose members the secretary did not name yet.

Abalos assured that the officials would remain in their posts and continue to perform their duties and functions, while the committee is checking into their backgrounds and would only be removed from the service if the body finds something negative or derogatory against them.

“They should not worry because if they are really clean, there’s no problem,” he said.

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