Abalos to ex-Pres. Duterte: We are doing our job to cleanse police of drug ties

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 14) — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday assured former President Rodrigo Duterte and the public that it is acting on the issue of the alleged drug ties of some police officers.

“I would like to assure the public, our former president, that we are doing our job here right now,” DILG Sec. Benhur Abalos told CNN Philippines’ The Source.

On Tuesday, Duterte accused the Philippine National Police (PNP) of being the “gatekeeper” of the illegal drug trade in the country, daring its personnel to resign.

“The volume is one too many. Ilan ang pulis na involved (How many police personnel are involved)? Marami ‘yan (There are many), it will go up to the generals,” he said, citing the “tons” of illegal drugs now going through the hands of the police.

Abalos on Tuesday also announced the filing of criminal complaints against 50 members of the PNP, including two generals, for their alleged involvement in the ₱6.7-billion drug haul in October 2022.

Ito pong ginagawa namin na pagde-demanda would speak for what we are doing. Ito po’y magsa-salita sa aming intention na talagang linisin ito at hindi pa kami tapos,” the DILG secretary said.

[Translation: This filing of complains that we are doing would speak for what we are doing. This speaks about our intention to clean the ranks and we are not yet done.]

Abalos said authorities are also working on filing administrative complaints against the involved policemen.

Aside from filing complaints against erring police officers, Abalos said the government will work on strengthening PNP’s recruitment process.

He said they will also study if the PNP's Internal Affairs Service that investigates infractions by police personnel should now be under the Office of the President, the DILG or if it should be totally independent.

PNP has effective, efficient anti-crime strategies

Following Dutere's statement, the PNP said on Wednesday that it has “effective and efficient” anti-crime strategies and programs as seen in its latest data on the crime situation in the country.

PNP Public Information Office chief PBGen. Redrico Maranan said in a statement that 16,492 crimes were recorded from January 1 to June 9 this year, down 10% from the same period last year.

In terms of campaign against illegal drugs, he noted that 19,464 police operations were conducted; 25,641 were arrested; and ₱6.2 billion worth of illegal drugs were confiscated.

As of June 7 this year, 836 PNP personnel who violated policies and laws were dismissed and 1,703 were suspended, he added.

“Despite issues and challenges, the PNP assures the public that we will continue to do our mandated tasks with the highest regard to human rights and utmost dedication for our countrymen,” Maranan said.