By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan
MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it is more determined to uphold the rule of law and weed out scalawags among its ranks, its chief said on Wednesday.
PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. made this remark in response to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s second State of the Nation Address (SONA) where he vowed to support efforts to strengthen the military and police as part of efforts to uphold the rule of law.
“I think this will send a message na talagang mahirap paglaruan ang sistema (it is really hard to play with the system) and this is a call for the PNP na really to do everything professionally and what is in accordance with law ay gagawin namin (we will do). I think that is the opportunity to redeem PNP’s image we align with the President’s pronouncement and we will commit na ang kanyang kapulisan ay (that his cops) something that the Filipinos can be proud of. Yun lang naman ang masasabi ko (That’ all I can say) so with that, I think there is more pride in wearing the uniform now,” Acorda told reporters on the sidelines of the turnover rites of reward money to police informants in Camp Crame.
Acorda said also described the President’s SONA as “promising,” noting that they are committed to fighting crime and illegal drugs.
Meanwhile, Acorda said they have yet to receive official communication on the fate of the 18 third-level officers of the PNP whose resignations have been accepted by the President for alleged involvement in illegal drugs.
“No other way other than implementing it but what I want to say is that the PNP under my leadership and with the support of all the officers, we will be continuing our monitoring and investigation of not only these personnel na nabanggit sa (mentioned in) courtesy resignation,” Acorda said.
Acorda said the 18 police officers will be facing criminal and administrative and there are some of these names have faced charges based on the recent investigation by a task group.
Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) vowed to be steadfast in upholding the rule of law to strengthen the foundation of the country’s transformation.
“Katulad ng sinabi ng ating Mahal na Pangulo, dumating na ang Bagong Pilipinas, at asahan ninyong mas magiging maigting ang ating kampanya upang panatilihin ang kapayapaan at kaayusan sa bansa na siyang gagabay sa patuloy nating pagsulong (Just like what the President said, the new Philippines has arrived. Rest assured that our campaign in ensuring peace and order would be stronger as this would be the guiding light in our development),” DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said in a statement.
Abalos also said there would be zero tolerance for scalawags among the ranks.
“The President has already accepted the resignations of 18 police officers due to their involvement in illegal drug activities. But make no mistake about it. Hindi tayo diyan natatapos. Magpapatuloy ang ating paglilinis sa hanay ng PNP (This is not the end. We would continue cleansing the PNP ranks),” Abalos said.
The Presidential Communications Office on Tuesday said the President accepted the resignation of 18 third-level police officials based on the recommendation of the National Police Commission Ad Hoc Advisory Group that investigated the matter.
The Chief Executive accepted the courtesy resignation of the following officials:
— Brigadier Generals Remus Medina, Randy Peralta and Pablo Labra II;
— Colonels Rogarth Campo, Rommel Ochave, Rommel Velasco, Robin King Sarmiento, Fernando Ortega, Rex Derilo, Julian Olonan, Rolando Portera, Lawrence Cajipe, Dario Menor, Joel Tampis, Michael David, Igmedio Bernaldez, Rodolfo Albotra Jr. and Marvin Sanchez.
Meanwhile, the advisory group recommended the non-acceptance of the courtesy resignation of 935 other police officials. (PNA)