By Wilnard Bacelonia
MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr., assured senators on Tuesday that the organization will overcome the crisis it currently faces over the questionable anti-drug operation in Tondo, Manila on Oct. 9, 2022 where Police Master Sgt. Rodolfo Mayo Jr., a member of the PNP Drug Enforcement Group, was arrested.
This, after Senator Ronald dela Rosa, who chairs the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, made Acorda promise not to make the panel conduct another investigation relating to police officers involved in illegal drugs.
“I recognize this burden that is being put on me and I’m confident that with the command group I have and with the cooperation we are having with the SILG [Secretary of the Interior and Local Government] and the NAPOLCOM [National Police Commission], I do believe that it has been upholding the integrity of our uniform and the meaning of our badge, I’m confident sir that we can do this,” Acorda told dela Rosa who is also a former PNP chief.
Acorda said he takes the Senate investigation as an eye-opener to police officers who continue to be involved in illegal activities.
“I hope na yung ating mga pulis ngayon na andito, sana kung wala mang respeto sa sarili ay respeto na lang sa pamilya nila at sa uniform at badge na sinusuot nila hanggang ngayon (I hope that the policemen who are here, if you do not respect yourselves, respect your family, and the uniform and badge you are wearing),” he said.
The PNP chief also assured the Senate committee that necessary charges will be pursued against those who would be found involved in the alleged drug cover-up.
Dela Rosa, meanwhile, reminded Acorda that President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. gave him a “heavy responsibility” which includes upholding the PNP’s reputation.
“Huwag mong pabayaan na lalong masasadlak. Kawawa yung ating mga kapitan, masisira ang kinabukasan dahil na-involved dito sa ganitong trabaho (Do not let the PNP be dragged down further. Have pity on our police officers whose careers would be destroyed for being involved in this kind of anomaly),” the senator told Acorda.
“Alagaan mo ang PNP. Siguruhin mo na hindi na mangyayari ito (Take care of the PNP. Make sure that this will not happen again),” he added.
During the hearing, Mayo and his superior Police Lt Col. Arnulfo Ibañez were cited in contempt by Dela Rosa in response to the motions made by Senators Raffy Tulfo and Robinhood Padilla.
Another motion made by Padilla was to lift the contempt citation against Police Capt. Jonathan Sosongco, who was cited in contempt by Dela Rosa in the previous hearing for refusing to divulge the identity of his informant.
However, it was blocked by Senator Jinggoy Estrada saying the contempt citation should not be lifted until Sosongco shares to the committee his informant’s name.
Dela Rosa’s panel is set to conduct another public hearing regarding the alleged drug cover-up. (PNA)