Azurin: PNP ‘will not name names’ sans ‘sufficient evidence’ in anti-drug drive
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) will not name or accuse anyone without enough evidence of their direct involvement in the illegal drug trade, its former chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said Monday.
During his retirement honors at Camp Crame in Quezon City, Azurin detailed the PNP’s accomplishments under his leadership.
“I unmasked the syndicates in PNP that damaged its reputation using my strategy: tapakan mo ‘yung buntot, makikita mo ‘yung ulo (step on the tail, you will see the head),” he said in his speech.
“Under your administration, Mr. President (Ferdinand Marcos Jr.), we assure you that in our war on drugs, we will not name names or accuse anyone without sufficient evidence and cases filed against those who are involved,” he added.
Azurin’s parting remark, however, was in contrast with what Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos said before he revealed the names of ranking police officers allegedly embroiled in the alleged “massive” cover-up of alleged irregularities supposedly committed by some police officers during the seizure of 990 kilos “shabu” (crystal meth) worth P6.7 billion in October 2022.
On April 5, Abalos said he would “name names” and “heads will roll” in the coming days. Then on April 10, the DILG chief revealed the identity of police officers allegedly involved in the drug haul case citing a CCTV footage.
Azurin, on the other hand, asserted there was no plan to cover up and attempt to delay the investigation on the case.
He also reminded Abalos and those involved to “focus on the real enemy, which is the shabu and the drug syndicates,” adding that the morale of the PNP had gone low due to the cover-up allegations involving its high-ranking officials.
Nevertheless, Azurin still acknowledged the efforts of Abalos in his farewell speech.
There were reports that the two have not been on speaking terms since mid-April and that their relationship remains “very professional.”
During the ceremony at the PNP headquarters, Azurin and Abalos were twice seen shaking each other’s hands. But their interaction was observed to be limited even when they sat beside each other halfway through the event.