More PNP top brass jump on the bandwagon: Courtesy resignation total swells to 904 – Abalos
MANILA, Philippines — Of the 953 police generals and colonels in the country, 904 have already submitted their courtesy resignations as the government tries to rid the ranks of the Philippine National Police (PNP) of ties with the illegal drug trade.
According to Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr., the total number to date is 95 percent of the PNP’s top brass.
“Sa ngayon, I was informed by our PNP chief [Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr.] na ang nag-su-submit ng courtesy resignation ng ating mga generals at colonels ay umaabot na sa 95 percent,” he said.
(As of now, I was informed by the PNP chief that the colonels and generals who have submitted their courtesy resignations are now at 95 percent.)
PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said in a chance interview that the 904 consist of 774 colonels and 130 generals.
Previous records of the PNP showed that the institution has a total of 956 full police generals and colonels. But Fajardo clarified that this number decreased after three retired over the past few days.
She added that the PNP expects 49 high-ranking officers to submit their courtesy resignations until January 31.
Last week, Abalos publicly appealed for top PNP officials to tender their courtesy resignations as the government pursues a “radical approach” in weeding out so-called ninja cops.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said his administration had long been planning this move in line with its recalibrated campaign against illegal drugs.
A five-man committee, which includes retired police general and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, has been formed to evaluate senior PNP officials who have submitted their courtesy resignations and go after police officers who are found to be involved in the illegal drug trade.
Abalos said the committee’s findings would be turned over to the National Police Commission (Napolcom) to add another layer in evaluating the top-ranking PNP officers before it is forwarded to Marcos for necessary action.
“I’d rather have one man who’s guilty [to] get off the hook than one innocent person be dismissed. Importante sa akin iyon. Importanteng salang-sala (That’s important to me. It’s important that they’re thoroughly screened),” he added.
Abalos further said the percentage of senior police officers purportedly linked to illegal drugs “is just hovering around three percent or four, at the very least.”
He noted, however, that this information is still subject to the vetting of the five-man panel and the Napolcom.
Abalos, meanwhile, declined to disclose the names of the other four members of the five-man evaluation committee.
“I hope you understand kasi isang pangalan na hindi katanggap-tanggap sa kapulisan, mahirap naman iyon. We just want to make sure na when we announce it, talagang tanggap na ng lahat,” he explained.
(I hope you understand because it would be difficult to announce one name that won’t be acceptable for the police force. We just want to make sure that when we announce it, it’s acceptable to everyone.)
Abalos noted that he has no problem with having a “government outsider” in the reviewing body as long as “the person is with integrity, very credible and acceptable.”