PNP panel ends probe of ‘narco-generals’ | Inquirer News

PNP panel ends probe of ‘narco-generals’

By: - Reporter / @dexcabalzaINQ
/ 05:38 AM April 23, 2023

A special five-man advisory panel, tasked to probe the involvement of top police officials in narcotics trafficking, has completed its assessment of almost a thousand senior officers of the Philippine National Police.

The panel convened for the last time on Thursday after looking into the records and documents of 953 police generals and colonels—the eighth meeting since it was formed in February, said Col. Redrico Maranan, the PNP public information office chief and designated spokesperson of the body.

In a statement on Friday, Maranan said the final report of the advisory body would be formally endorsed to the National Police Commission (Napolcom) for final review and subsequent submission to President Marcos.


Mr. Marcos himself said at a meeting in Malacañang of peace and order councils on April 18 that the internal assessment would conclude “in two weeks or so.”


“It’s a very complicated system, and it’s a very complicated situation. We cannot just act on the basis of hearsays. We have to be very careful because we have to [be] fair. It has to be just,” the President said.

Mr. Marcos appealed to the members of the PNP to work with his administration, stressing he has an obligation to address the drug trade problem and ensure a credible and well-functioning police force in the country.

“The police have to be with us. They have to be on our side. We cannot do it without them. It’s that simple. We have to have a good functioning police force,” he said.

“Now, but there should be also a mechanism where those who have succumbed to temptation must be brought to account so we can destroy that system once and for all,” the Chief Executive added.

The evaluation was completed days before the mandatory retirement on April 24 of outgoing PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr., who is among the panel’s five members.

There has been no official announcement of the panel’s findings, but Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos revealed on April 5 that the panel recommended the President’s rejection of the courtesy resignations of 917 of the 953 officials, effectively clearing them of involvement in illegal drugs.


The remaining 36 officials are still under investigation.

Aside from Azurin, the other members of the panel were retired police general and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, Office of the Presidential Adviser on Military Affairs Undersecretary Isagani Nerez, retired Court of Appeals Justice Melchor Sadang and former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro.The panel’s report will now be assessed by the Napolcom, with Abalos sitting as its ex officio chair, which in turn will make an appropriate recommendation to the President.

Officials whose resignations are accepted would be forced to retire, regardless of their supposed remaining years in PNP service.

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The panel’s review, begun in January, is separate from two other investigations by the PNP and Napolcom on irregularities supposedly committed by antidrug operatives in a drug raid in October last year.

TAGS: narco-cops, Philippine National Police

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