MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has accepted the resignation of 18 third-level officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) who are allegedly involved in illegal drug activities.
In a news release on Tuesday, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said the President accepted the police officials’ resignation 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.
Marcos made the announcement a day after his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa, vowing to continue the fight against drug syndicates by shutting down their illegal activities.
He also vowed to dismantle their network of operations that includes going after law enforcers and their accomplices found implicated in the illegal drug trade.
"Unscrupulous law enforcers and others involved in the highly nefarious drug trade have been exposed. I will be accepting their resignations. In their stead, we will install individuals with unquestionable integrity, and who will be effective and trustworthy in handling the task of eliminating this dreaded and corrosive social curse. We cannot tolerate corruption or incompetence in government," Marcos said.
The President earlier vowed to “clean up the ranks of the PNP, saying that the drug problem would not exist without the involvement of police officials.”
In his SONA, the President also said he will appoint individuals with unquestionable integrity to lead the government’s drive against illegal drugs, noting that his administration is putting “a new face” to the campaign.
"In their stead, we will install individuals with unquestionable integrity, who will be effective and trustworthy in handling the task of eliminating this dreaded and corrosive social curse. We cannot tolerate corruption or incompetence in government," the Chief Executive said.
Meanwhile, PNP chief Benjamin Acorda Jr. said the officials whose resignations were accepted are continuously being monitored.
He also said the necessary orders "for their relief from their present positions will be immediately issued and the (resigned) officers will be assigned to the Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit, DPRM (Directorate for Personnel and Records Management) to preclude them from exerting further influence and/or performing illegal activities using their positions.”
“Because it’s a courtesy resignation so I would like to look at this na sana (and hopefully), it’s an eye opener to each and every officer. It’s high time we take our job seriously when it comes to dealing with drugs. It’s a no-no na we get involved in it and sana let’s take advantage as a mode of really coming up with a better image with the Filipinos,” Acorda told a media interview at Camp Crame in Quezon City on Tuesday.
He also assured the PNP's full commitment to intensifying the war against illegal drugs.
“Nakikita natin yung kahirapan ng mga operatiba (we see the difficulties of operatives) when it comes to conducting operations on illegal drugs so with the statement of the President we are pursuing this and intensifying it,” he added.
The PNP chief maintained that erring cops have no place in the organization, especially under his watch as he vowed to implement an intensified internal cleansing.
“We need your help also, we need critics from the outside and we take it positively, that is the way we can clean the organization and the community as a whole. I think it’s everybody’s concern but under the leadership of yours truly and with the command group we will be pursuing positive reforms,” Acorda noted.
Earlier, Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. called on all full-fledged police colonels and generals to file their courtesy resignation to weed out the police organization of erring members, especially those involved in the illegal drugs trade.
The DILG chief's move stemmed from the arrest of Master Sgt. Rodolfo Mayo Jr. during a drug operation in Manila in October 2022 which yielded over a ton of shabu.
Big win in war on drugs
Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers said President Marcos’ acceptance of the 18 senior police officers’ resignation is a big boost to the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.
Barbers, chair of the House Committee on Illegal Drugs, said the President showed his determination in curbing the drug menace in the country.
He said this is also the start of something big “which is reforming of the entire national police structure by replacing scalawags with people of unquestioned credibility, integrity and competence.”
“In this regard, I call on the NAPOLCOM (National Police Commission) to continue its constant monitoring of our police officers and their performance in order to make the wisest advice to our President,” he said.
He also urged the public to fully cooperate with the government to resolve the drug problem and free the country from illegal drugs.
“Our united front in fighting this problem does not end here. We shall continue to be vigilant and steadfast in the performance of our duties so we can deliver to the people our promise of good governance,” he said.
“We trust the President and we fully support him in his commitment to end this curse and shifting course towards rehabilitation and re-integration of people victimized by illegal drugs,” he added. (with reports from Zaldy De Layola)