Baguio Mayor Magalong in committee going after top cops with drug ties
MANILA, Philippines – Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong will be part of the committee tasked to review the records of high-ranking police officials in a bid to weed out those with links to illegal drugs, Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said on Friday.
“Huwag silang mag-alala. These are very credible persons…Isa po rito si dating general ng Special Action Force (SAF) 44 at ang magaling na mayor ng Baguio – si General Mayor Benjie Magalong,” he said in an interview on Teleradyo’s Kabayan.
(They shouldn’t worry. These are very credible persons….One of them is the former general of the SAF and also the good mayor of Baguio – General Mayor Benjie Magalong.)
Abalos said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. wants the committee to scrutinize the police ranks to pin down those involved in illegal drugs trade.
Senator JV Ejercito, who chairs the Senate Committee on Local Government, had earlier pointed out that a government outsider is likewise needed in the committee of five, noting that its composition would be “very crucial.”
‘Very radical, very bold move’
Abalossaid that his call for police colonels and generals to tender their courtesy resignation was a “very radical, very bold move” that was first suggested by PNP Chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr.
“Ang nagrekomenda nito sa akin ay mismong si Gen. Azurin na [nagsabi na] ganoon na kalubha sa loob (It was no less than Gen. Azurin who recommended this to me and told me that the situation is so bad),” he added.
Abalos said police officers involved in illegal drugs, which he referred to as “ninja cops,” have long plagued the national police force.
He noted that Senator Ronald dela Rosa, who served as police chief during the Duterte administration, has repeatedly raised this issue in the past.
Abalos also noted the new approach to cleansing the police ranks was triggered by the arrest of M/Sgt. Rodolfo Mayor Jr. from the PNP Drug Enforcement Group in a historic drug bust that yielded some P6.7 billion worth of crystal meth or “shabu” last October.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.