Members of new PNP drug unit to undergo stringent background check
The members of the Philippine National Police’s Drug Enforcement Group (PNP DEG), including its leader, will be subjected to a thorough background investigation regularly so no unscrupulous elements can penetrate the new drug group.
This was to prevent rogue cops from taking advantage of the drug war to engage in illegal activities similar to the case of two PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG) members who were tagged as suspects in the kidnap-slay of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo.
The DEG replaced the AIDG after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the latter dismantled after some of its members got involved in Jee’s killing inside the PNP headquarters at Camp Crame.
A complete background investigation from the time of the police officer’s birth until his present status will be conducted on those who want to join the DEG, the unit’s chief Senior Supt. Graciano Mijares said on Friday.
“At present, we already have 54 personnel after being subjected to proper vetting and selection process. From myself down to the lowest ranking personnel, we will undergo complete background investigation,” Mijares said in a press conference at Camp Crame.
PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa announced the creation of the PNP DEG last Monday when the government’s drug war formally resumed.
“We were told by the PNP chief to infuse young bloods in the group so that’s what we are looking for. We are recruiting from the different parts of the region. Kung sino ‘yung may integridad, may alam na rin sa trabaho and walang bahid sa kaso on illegal drug (Whoever has the integrity, know the job and not tainted with illegal drug case),” Mijares said.
Mijares said that some of the 54 came from the defunct AIDG. But only its administrative personnel were absorbed by the DEG, he added.
There are 60 more PNP commissioned and non-commissioned officers who applied to join the antinarcotics group, said Mijares.
The DEG will also have a counter-intelligence unit which would solely focus on checking the background of its personnel.
In a separate interview, Supt. Enrico Rigor, chief of PNP DEG’s Legal and Investigation Division, said all DEG members have been required to submit a list of their previous assignments and former commanders and their payslips.
Rigor, who also served as AIDG’s spokesperson before it was dissolved, admitted that the selection process of the AIDG was not as stringent as before.
“Ngayon continuous ang background investigation. Kahit pasok ka na but eventually may nag-appear na hindi maganda sa record mo, pwede ka pang ma-out (Now, our background investigation is continuous. Even if you have joined the organization, but eventually your record is tainted, you can be removed),” Rigor said.
He said the DEG will eventually include the investigation of their personnel’s bank records aside from the payslip./rga
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