Abalos seeks courtesy resignation of all PNP colonels, generals amid possible drug links
MANILA, Philippines — Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. has called on all colonels and generals of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to submit their courtesy resignations, amid fears that high-ranking officials are already linked to the drug trade.
In a surprising move announced in a Wednesday press conference, Abalos said that asking for the courtesy resignation of PNP officials may be the quickest way for the country to address the drug menace that has infiltrated the police force.
“Lumalabas na malaki ang problema dito sa kapulisan. 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, ako ay umaapela na mag-submit ng courtesy resignation,” Abalos said.
(It appears that the problem is big within the police organization, as there are generals and colonels involved in the illegal drug trade. According to the recommendation from PNP and other police officers, I am calling on all full colonel up to all generals for them to submit a courtesy resignation.)
“Alam kong mabibigla kayo, pero this is the only way to make a fresh start […] Mabigat itong gagawin natin, it is a very radical approach to this problem, but I do believe we must cleanse our ranks,” he added.
(I know this is sudden, but this is the only way to make a fresh start. We will do something drastic, it is a very radical approach to this problem, but I do believe we must cleanse our ranks.)
Abalos said that a committee of five would be tasked to review the profile of the officials who would submit a courtesy resignation. While their courtesy resignation is still under review by the committee, the officials would still function in respect to their current assignments.
Once the committee approves the resignation, only then would the officials concerned be removed from the service.
“There will be a committee of five formed, this committee would filter each official. For the meantime, their work continues and they should not worry because if they are really clean, there’s no problem. We can fix this, it’s only a few of them who are involved, but they are in critical positions,” Abalos said in a mix of English and Filipino.
“This is how it works: the courtesy resignations — if they would hand out courtesy resignations — they should not worry because they would work until the resignation is accepted. If it is accepted, then only then would they cease working, it will go through a committee of five,” he added.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) chief has not yet named who would be the five personalities that would form the said committee, but he assured that he will not be part of it.
“The committee will be the one to go through the records, regarding who is involved and who is not. I mean, you’ve heard Senator Bato (dela Rosa) when he said that there are still ninja cops in the service, there are such comments, and I would say yes, it’s true,” Abalos said.
“Maybe with this, we can start fresh in trusting the PNP. My trust with the PNP is there, I’ve been working with the PNP, I’ve seen men in uniform, women in uniform risking their lives. It will be unfair to them (if PNP is dragged down by ninja cops),” he added.
Abalos also clarified that this is not a mandatory order, saying that he is “appealing” to the colonels and generals to make the move.
This is not the first time that generals were said to be part of the drug syndicate. During the term of former president Rodrigo Duterte, he mentioned several names of PNP generals that are supposedly part of the drug trade.
While the current administration vows to capitalize on the gains made during Duterte’s drug war, authorities vowed to implement a more holistic approach to the drug problem by putting more focus on rehabilitation, drug prevention, and supply reduction.
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