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34 Bicol police chiefs sacked for poor work in anti-drug campaign

By: - Correspondent / @msarguellesINQ
/ 08:40 PM August 24, 2016
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In this Aug. 8, 2016 file photo, policemen who are on the drug watch list of President Rodrigo Duterte and who have been placed under investigation get a mouthful from Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald “Bato” De la Rosa when they surrendered to their commanders. The policemen have been relieved of their duties pending investigation.  JULLIANE LOVE DE JESUS/INQUIRER.net

LEGAZPI CITY, Albay — The government’s war on drugs has cost the jobs of at least 34 police chiefs in the Bicol region.

Chief Supt. Ramon Melvin Buenafe, Bicol police director, said the police officers were relieved on Tuesday after evaluators from the Philippine National Police concluded that they have failed to meet targets on the implementation of the Oplan Double Barrel, a nationwide police campaign against illegal drugs.

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Buenafe, in an interview, said these officers were reassigned to the regional police office here and would undergo a refresher course on police operations.

Among those relieved were police chiefs in four towns and two cities in Albay province, two cities and five towns in Camarines Sur province, and six towns in Camarines Norte province. The provinces of Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon each had five police chiefs relieved of their posts.

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In Albay, the officers removed from their posts have ranks of superintendent, chief inspector and senior inspector.

Buenafe said at least 23 policemen in the region have been investigated since July 1, the start of the government’s anti-drug campaign under Oplans Tokhang and Double Barrel.

Ten of them have been removed from service after they were found to have hindered police operation or were proven to be illegal drug users or protectors of drug traders.

The revamp covered only 30 percent of the 114 police chiefs assigned in the 108 towns and six cities in Bicol.

Under Double Barrel, some 2,331 confessed drug pushers and 39,619 drug users surrendered to the police from July to Aug. 23.

Police records showed that at least 33 suspected illegal drug pushers were killed in gunfights with policemen. At least 333 others were arrested while 55 guns were seized from the suspects.  (With a report from Michael Jaucian, Inquirer Southern Luzon) SFM

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