PNP to do review of top cops who won’t submit courtesy resignation
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) will take the reins in evaluating senior police officials who will not tender their courtesy resignations in support of the government’s bid to weed out officers with links to the illicit drug trade.
PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said this on Monday, pointing out that as of Jan. 20, 11 of the 953 top police officials, specifically eight colonels and three generals, have yet to lock in their courtesy resignations and subject themselves to an evaluation by a five-member committee and the National Police Commission (Napolcom).
Azurin said that they are continuously reaching out to the said officers, noting that seven of them are slated to retire within the first quarter of the year.
“Siguro, they are still trying to discern na ‘mag-submit pa ba ako, eh aabutan naman ako ng retirement?’ But to us, we also still encourage na mag-submit lang kayo para at least, kahit papaano, totally ma-clear kayo kung ano man iyong kahihinatnan nitong evaluation and review ng individual na involvement ng lahat sa illegal drugs,” he said in a news briefing.
(Maybe they are still trying to discern if they’ll still submit if their retirement is already nearing. But to us, we also still encourage them to submit so, at least, in some way, they can be totally cleared from whatever the outcome of the evaluation and review of individuals’ involvement in illegal drugs.)
When asked if the high-ranking PNP officers who won’t tender their courtesy resignations would still be checked for possible drug ties, Azurin said: “Definitely, titingnan ng PNP. Of course, hindi sila nag-submit [ng courtesy resignation], syempre walang record. PNP na ang mag-aaral kung may mga indicator na sila ay na-involve sa illegal drug activities during their incumbency as third-level officers.”
(Definitely, the PNP will look into it. Of course, they didn’t submit their courtesy resignation, so there are no records. PNP will be the one to check if there are indicators that they had been involved in illegal drug activities during their incumbency as third-level officers.)
Azurin then noted that retiring PNP officers who will undergo the evaluation would still be able to receive their benefits and pensions as scheduled.
“Kapag sila’y nakasuhan and nagkaroon ng evidence na sila’y involved then, the court will have the power to hold iyong mga pension nila at benefits nila,” he noted.
(If a case is filed against them and there’s evidence that they’re involved, then the court will have the power to hold their pensions and benefits.)
The five-member panel, which includes retired police general and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, is expected to complete its review of senior PNP officials in two to three months.
The Napolcom, where Abalos sits as chairperson and Azurin as ex-officio commissioner, will then screen the list of the police officers found linked to the illegal drug trade. The commission will either amend or trim down but not add to the list before turning it over to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for necessary action.
Abalos previously said that if the evidence against a police officer found with ties to illicit drugs is insufficient to make an airtight case, they would be allowed to “retire peacefully.”
But he said that “the monitoring and investigation must continue to gather evidence that may lead to eventual criminal prosecution.”
READ: Abalos: If case weak vs ‘narco’ cops, ‘let them retire peacefully’
Several legislators, groups, and organizations have since hit the “very radical” approach of the government in purging the PNP ranks of links to the illegal drug trade as they argued that this will only help erring cops avoid taking accountability for their actions.
READ: Critics say DILG chief only giving ‘narco’ cops a ‘graceful exit’
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