Duterte: 2 police colonels, not generals, linked to ‘ninja cops’
DAVAO CITY, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte corrected his earlier statement that two generals were involved in the illegal drug trade, saying he was confused by the frequent change of ranks and mistook the two police colonels for generals.
“No generals, but two colonels [involved],” the President, speaking partly in Filipino, said in a press briefing he held on his arrival from Russia at the Davao International Airport (DIA) here, where reporters asked him about the police officers linked to the illegal drug trade.
“Colonels, I think. I was confused with [the rank] superintendent. The superintendent I know is school superintendent,” he said as he urged the police to revert to the old names.
In the old police ranking system, a colonel was a “senior superintendent” and a brigadier general was a “chief superintendent.”
“I hope the PNP [Philippine National Police] would realize that [the frequent change of ranks or titles] can get so confusing,” he said. “Stop it. We’re comfortable with the [old] ways, do not [keep changing]. It’s confusing. I get confused.”
Last Thursday, during the plenary session of the Valdai Forum in Sochi, Russia that the President mentioned the two generals allegedly involved in illegal drugs.
He did not mention any names, but he said he would wait for the recommendation of Interior Secretary Eduardo Año before he would take any action against ranking police officials whose names had been dragged into the illegal drug trade.
He said that the Department of the Interior and Local Government had been doing an investigation on the alleged ninja cops, taking into account the Senate hearings.
“Procedurally, I cannot adopt the investigation of Congress as the work of the executive department,” he said. “I have to review that, and if [the investigation happens to be] right, I will have to adopt it. But I have to ensure procedural due process first.”
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