Sueno orders manhunt for police scalawags
Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno on Sunday said he has ordered the Philippine National Police-Intelligence Group to hunt for scalawag lawmen and gather evidence against them to secure their eventual dismissal from the service.
“We are now strengthening the Intelligence Group so that they will be the group of policemen who will be the ones to catch the scalawags. We will recruit other policemen with good records to join them. I told them I want results in one week’s time,” Sueno said in a radio interview.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson last week suggested that PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa form an elite group to conduct the “internal cleansing” in the police service in the face of alleged abuses committed during the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.
Lacson’s suggestion came amid the uproar caused by the murder right inside the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo who was allegedly kidnapped and held for ransom by policemen last October following a bogus antidrug operation.
Sueno earlier said that heads will roll over the incident, adding that he had ordered Dela Rosa to speed up the administrative investigation of all policemen involved so that they may be meted the appropriate penalty.
He said policemen get punished administratively for wrongdoing. As chair of the National Police Commission, he said, he gets to sign “weekly” dismissal orders against noncommissioned officers and lower-ranking commissioned officers.
Sueno said the Caloocan City Barangay 165 chair, Gerardo Santiago, the owner of the funeral parlor where Jee’s corpse was brought, would also face administrative cases and possible dismissal once he is included in the criminal case.
“Once the charge sheet is amended to include Santiago, proper administrative action may be taken, to include suspension from being a barangay chair, pending the investigation of the case,” he said.
Sueno also said the government maintains its “steadfast resolve” to end the proliferation of illegal drugs. He said the crime rate and illegal drug-related crimes have decreased as a result of the antidrug drive.
“If President Duterte is not the President right now, the Philippines will have become a narcostate in two to five years, which means all of society’s undertakings will have been under the influence of illegal drugs,” Sueno said.
According to the Department of the Interior and Local Government secretary, crime rate and illegal drug-related crimes have decreased as “a result of the determination of the government and the passion of the President to establish a drug-free Philippines.”
An update from the PNP report issued on Sunday showed that more than seven million residences have been subjected to Oplan “Tokhang,” or the visitations of policemen to houses of suspected drug dealers and dependents to plead with them to surrender and mend their ways.
From July 1, 2016 to Jan. 29, there were 7,000,067 houses visited, resulting in the surrender of 1,098,479 users and 79,338 pushers.
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