MANILA – More than 5,000 police officers have been dismissed from the service as a result of an intensified internal cleansing program of the Philippine National Police (PNP) since the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte started.

PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos said in a statement sent to the media on Sunday that the latest data as of March 2022 show a total of 5,599 cops, 714 are involved in illegal drug-related cases, have been sacked since July 2016.

Others were involved in cases ranging from grave misconduct, serious irregularities, and other criminal activities while some members of the police force were meted with disciplinary sanctions for administrative offenses and involvement in irregularities.

Carlos said the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) of the PNP has taken an aggressive stance in handling and investigating police personnel who were slapped with administrative charges.

The PNP has vowed to fight against corruption within the PNP system through its massive internal cleansing program.

Apart from the dismissal from service, several penalties were also imposed on erring police personnel charged with less serious offenses.

Around 1,129 were demoted, 10,490 were suspended, 848 faced forfeiture of salary, 2,475 were reprimanded, 208 were restricted and privileges were withheld for 286 personnel.

Working hand in hand with the IAS is the PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (PNP-IMEG).

IMEG’s functions include receiving complaints and information against erring personnel and conducting relevant information-gathering activities, detecting and conducting intelligence buildup on the involvement of PNP personnel in illegal activities, acts of graft and corruption and other crimes for the conduct of prompt countermeasures, and initiating law enforcement operations against rogue PNP personnel.

With this conscious effort of the IAS and IMEG to thwart corruption within the organization, the PNP wishes to oppose the statement from a recent report of the United States Department of State’s latest annual country reports on human rights stating that IAS remained largely ineffective.

“Although we are not completely disregarding this report, the PNP would like to respond to it with all the significant accomplishments of IAS, as mentioned above. It will be unfair for the PNP to be regarded as an organization that tolerates impunity and human rights abuses,” it said in the statement.

The PNP, it added, will continue to enforce the law without fear and favor and improve the organization in order to protect and serve the community. (PNA)