PNP begins ‘internal cleansing’ to purge cops linked to drugs
THE leadership of the Philippine National Police wants an “internal cleansing” within its forces amid the rising number of policemen involved in the selling of illegal drugs and police officials protecting drug activities.
Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr., the deputy PNP chief for operations, and the Intelligence Group directed the anti-illegal drugs arm of the PNP to identify, arrest and file charges immediately against police personnel selling illegal drugs.
According to Chief Inspector Roque Merdegia Jr., spokesperson of the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force, Garbo and the IG specifically wanted the AIDSOTF to weed out policemen who are possible sources of shabu (metamphetamine hydrochloride) in barangays (villages) in Metro Manila.
“The PNP leadership directed us to validate information about policemen directly involved in selling drugs and arrest them then their dismissal from service will follow,” Merdegia said in an interview at Camp Crame on Monday.
Statistics from January to May revealed that nine members of the PNP were arrested for selling illegal drugs, particularly shabu. They are all facing criminal and administrative charges for violating Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Merdegia recalled the arrest of Police Inspector Roger Ocampo, an officer who was part of a police team leading anti-narcotics operations in Central Luzon, last April.
He was caught selling shabu to a deep cover agent in Angeles City, Pampanga.
“Wala talaga kaming pinipili. Pero kahit ang droga, walang pinipili kung sino ang mako-corrupt na police,” Merdegia said.
From January to December last year, five policemen were also arrested for drug peddling.
Merdegia said the AIDSOTF has a list of police personnel who are being linked to illegal drug activities. But “for intelligence purposes,” they will not divulge the names on the list.
He said most policemen on the list were non-commissioned officers or those with ranks of PO1 to SPO4.
With this, Merdegia urged the public to report to the PNP, to the AIDSOTF office, or through text to 2920 members of the PNP who are protectors of drug market and those who are selling drugs.
“Pakiusap sa ating mga kababayan, kung mayroon kayong nalalaman na information tungkol sa mga members ng PNP na nagpapakalat ng illegal na droga o protector ng illegal drugs activities sa inyong community, please don’t hesitate. Bukas po ang aming tanggapan,” he said. AC