PNP says top brass resignation may purge ranks of drug ties
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) sees the call for its top officials to resign as a chance to “aggressively, yet prudently” purge its ranks of ties to the illicit drug trade.
The PNP issued that statement on Wednesday in response to the call of Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. for its generals and colonels to submit their courtesy resignation as part of the PNP’s internal cleansing program.
The list of officers who resigned will then be reviewed by a five-member committee to check for those who might be involved in the illegal drug trade.
In light of this, the PNP said all its third-level police colonels and generals would undergo the vetting process.
“We take this move as an opportunity to aggressively, yet prudently, cleanse the ranks of the whole PNP and a chance to show the integrity of the organization amidst issues affecting its members,” the PNP statement said.
The PNP backed Abalos in his move, recognizing his “good intention to cleanse the ranks of the PNP and rid the organization of the very few scalawags.”
But it also noted that “third-level officers who have no involvement with illegal drugs deserve to be cleared from all doubts, innuendos or perceptions as to their service integrity and reputation.”
In a meeting with its generals and colonels earlier, the PNP said there were clarifications raised about Abalos’ call, but they then “conveyed positive reception on this.”
“We likewise trust that these assessments and evaluations among our members will be fair and impartial throughout the process,” it added.
The PNP chief, Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr., will be the first to subject himself to the evaluation, according to the PNP.
Some PNP officials have long been suspected of having ties with drug syndicates.
During the previous administration, then-President Rodrigo Duterte had mentioned several names of PNP generals allegedly involved in the illicit drug trade.