Nearly 600 generals, colonels heed call for courtesy resignation of PNP top brass
MANILA, Philippines – Nearly 600 police generals and colonels in the country have so far tendered their courtesy resignations, heeding the call of Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. as part of the government’s efforts in weeding out high-ranking cops that allegedly have ties to criminal drug syndicates.
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. bared this figure on Monday during a press briefing at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
“As of yesterday, we were able to account, more or less, 500 to a close to 600 as reported from our different regions, by our different units,” he said, speaking in a mix of English and Filipino.
Azurin said some of the filed courtesy resignations are currently en route to the PNP headquarters for collation and will later be passed on to the five-member committee tasked to review the records of the top police officers.
According to the country’s top cop, the PNP is still expecting to receive at least 456 more courtesy resignations from its senior officials.
He noted, however, that this is not a “loyalty check” but rather, an evaluation of the propriety of all police officers in the country, particularly those in high ranks.
Azurin, who has likewise submitted his courtesy resignation, also confirmed that Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong will take part in the committee going after police officers with illegal drug ties.
READ: Baguio Mayor Magalong in committee going after top cops with drug ties
“As to the other members, I am not yet privy. I do not have an idea of if they were already called and if they have accepted the offer,” he added.
Azurin said Magalong was among the 22 names the PNP submitted for President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to consider for inclusion in the committee.
Earlier, Senator JV Ejercito, who chairs the Senate Committee on Local Government, pointed out that a government outsider is also needed in the said screening body.
READ: ‘Outsider’ needed in team reviewing PNP officials’ possible drug ties, says solon
Marcos has since confirmed that the bold quit call for high-ranking police officers, which Abalos relayed to the public last week, had his go-signal and is a part of his administration’s “entirely different” approach to the drug war.
READ: Marcos Jr. says weeding out ninja cops part of new drug war approach
But an internal purge in the PNP is nothing new as former chiefs like Senator Ronald dela Rosa and Guillermo Eleazar have previously launched similar initiatives to clamp down on erring police officers.
READ: Critics say DILG chief only giving ‘narco’ cops a ‘graceful exit’
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