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Over 600 top cops face evaluation to purge PNP of drug ties

More than 600 senior police officers are set to be evaluated in the coming weeks following the resumption of the formal meeting of the five-man advisory group, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Wednesday.

The advisory group was formed to review the courtesy resignations of the PNP senior officials aimed to rid their ranks of those involved in the illegal drug trade.

This committee is composed of Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, PNP chief Police General Rodolfo Azurin Jr., former Defense chief Gilbert Teodoro, Undersecretary Isagani Neres from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Military Affairs, and former Court of Appeals Associate Justice Melchor Quirino Sadang.

PNP public information officer (PIO) chief Police Colonel Redrico Maranan said they already processed 217 senior police officers after a thorough evaluation while 600 more will be evaluated through in-person or video conferencing.

“In effect, the senior officers’ courtesy resignation will be recommended not be accepted if found, after evaluation, that there is no record or no information that they have involvement in illegal drugs and that they are  suitable to continue their police service,” Maranan said in a statement.

“On the other hand, the senior officers who have been found to have derogatory information will be subjected to the next layer of scrutiny by the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) and will then be submitted to further validation and investigation,” he added.

Azurin earlier said initial recommendations on 118 courtesy resignations of senior police officers are set to be submitted to the NAPOLCOM.

Last January 4, Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos appealed to senior PNP officials to submit their courtesy resignations as part of the government's efforts to rid the police force of officers involved in the illegal drug trade.

He said this was "the only way to make a fresh start" in the PNP, as he expressed concern over the involvement of some ranking police officers in the illegal drug trade.

Maranan said the advisory group targets to finish the screening as soon as possible.

“The 5-man advisory group targets to finish the screening as soon as possible. However, assessment must be done expeditiously, always taking into consideration the objectivity, fairness and due diligence in the conduct of its proceedings,” he added.—LDF, GMA Integrated News