PNP assures protection for cops hunting high-value targets
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday assured the protection to police officers tasked with running after high-value drug targets (HVTs).
Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, PNP officer-in-charge, made this promise as the Drug Enforcement Group earlier expressed concern over its lack of personnel, as intrigues and controversies on the drug war have made some police officers hesitant in joining the prime police unit that operates against HVTs.
“We assure them of protection on the part of the PNP. And they also saw that to all police officers wounded or killed, I was there to offer my support even up to the family,” Gamboa, speaking partly in Filipino, said in an interview with reporters.
Gamboa also promised sufficient training for drug enforcement operatives so that they would be prepared for situations that they might face in their operation against drug lords.
“If you are confident, you don’t have to be afraid of anything. Besides, that’s we are being paid to do, right?” he added.
Lt. Col. Enrico Rigor, spokesperson of the Drug Enforcement Group, earlier said the unit only had over 200 personnel nationwide, which short of the 400 members it was supposed to have.
The PNP Directorate for Personnel and Records Management released a memorandum thrice this year urging police officers to join the group, but there were no takers, according to Rigor.
Gamboa acknowledged that perhaps some police officers have “apprehensions” in joining the police unit.
But he also said that the PNP’s drive against high-value targets is not being affected by the gap in the number of anti-drug operatives.
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