MANILA – A police officer assigned in Central Visayas is now in hot water after he tested positive for shabu during a random drug test, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Gen. Debold Sinas said Tuesday.

Sinas said Corporal Manuel Alconten Paez will undergo investigation and administrative proceedings by the PNP Internal Affairs Service.

Paez, 42, assigned at the Regional Police Recruitment Unit-7 under the Police Recruitment Service (PRS), turned out positive for shabu during mandatory drug testing by the Regional Crime Laboratory 7 in Cebu City on December 17.

PRS chief Col. Nora Camarao ordered all her regional unit personnel to undergo random drug testing upon the instruction of Sinas.

A total of 16,839 police officers have been penalized since 2016 under the PNP’s internal cleansing program to rid its ranks of scalawags.

Data showed that 4,784 police personnel have been dismissed from the service, 8,349 have been suspended, and 1,803 have been reprimanded.

Other punishments included demotion, forfeiture of salary, restriction, and withholding of privileges.

Some 564 PNP personnel have also been removed for involvement in illegal drugs.

"Ang pinaka importante talaga dapat disiplinado ang pulis at alam niya ang trabaho. Kung disiplinado ang trabaho, mababawasan, mawawala po ang pang-aabuso (What important really is that policemen or policewomen are disciplined and know their duties. If they are disciplined, abuses will be lessened or eliminated),” Sinas said. (PNA)