357 cops, including general, probed for illegal drug involvement
MANILA, Philippines — Some 357 cops are currently being investigated by the Philippine National Police (PNP) for their alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade, among them a brigadier general, the country’s top cop said Monday.
PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said that the list of cops came from President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug watchlist.
He refused to identify the policemen, however, adding that those allegedly involved have a rank of a patrolman to a one-star or a brigadier general.
He added that the PNP was given a month for validation and adjudication, after which it will submit its recommendation for the disposition of the involved policemen.
“What I requested from the President is that we will be given liberty to investigate, adjudicate, validate information and then directly submit to him after one month our recommendation of each and every one of the 357,” Gamboa said in a press conference in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.
He added that the President would have the final say on what will happen to policemen who will be found to have illegal drug involvement.
Cops will undergo several layers of investigation and validation, Gamboa said.
“First na sasalang sa regional offices, national support offices and directorial staff. They will have their own adjudication board (They will first go on in regional offices, national support offices and directorial staff. They will have their own adjudication board),” Gamboa said.
“It will stay for them one week, lahat ng ebidensya ilabas niyo na,” he added.
Cops who will be tagged in illegal drugs have the option to take their optional retirement until Feb. 10, Monday, Gamboa said.
“Kung sa tingin niyo guilty kayo at hindi kayo makakalusot, you better render your optional retirement. The deadline for that is today so kung di ka mag-optional retirement at guilty ka talaga, then pasensyahan tayo (If you think you are guilty, you better render your optional retirement. The deadline for that is today so if you don’t render optional retirement and you are guilty, you’ll be sorry),” he said.
One cop has already expressed intention to avail of optional retirement. However, the PNP chief refused to disclose the rank of the policeman.
“Hindi natin sabihin na guilty. It’s just a gesture para hindi na magulo ang PNP at hindi magpagod (We are not saying that they are already guilty. It’s just a gesture so that the PNP will not be rattled and exhaust its efforts),” he said.
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