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Marcos accepts resignations of 18 PNP officials linked to illegal drugs

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has accepted the courtesy resignations of 18 high-ranking officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) allegedly involved in illegal drug activities, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said on Tuesday.

In a statement, the PCO identified these senior police officers as the following:

1.  Police Brigadier General Remus Balingasa Medina 

2.  Police Brigadier General Randy Quines Peralta 

3.  Police Brigadier General Pablo Gacayan Labra II 

4.  Police Colonel Rogarth Bulalacao Campo 

5.  Police Colonel Rommel Javier Ochave 

6.  Police Colonel Rommel Allaga Velasco 

7.  Police Colonel Robin King Sarmiento 

8.  Police Colonel Fernando Reyes Ortega 

9.  Police Colonel Rex Ordoño Derilo 

10.  Police Colonel Julian Tesorero Olonan 

11.  Police Colonel Rolando Tapon Portera 

12.  Police Colonel Lawrence Bonifacio Cajipe 

13.  Police Colonel Dario Milagrosa Menor 

14.  Police Colonel Joel Kagayed Tampis 

15.  Police Colonel Michael Arcillas David 

16.  Police Colonel Igmedio Belonio Bernaldez 

17.  Police Colonel Rodolfo Calope Albotra Jr.

18.  Police Colonel Marvin Barba Sanchez 

''Life is unfair. God bless us,'' Olonan told GMA News Online when asked to comment on the development. 

GMA News Online has reached out to some of the concerned police officers and their respective public information offices for their side regarding Marcos' decision. They have yet to provide a statement as of posting time.

GMA News Online is also still trying to obtain communication from Peralta, Ochave, Velasco, Sarmiento, Ortega, Portera, David, Bernaldez, and Sanchez through the PNP.

According to the PCO, Marcos accepted their resignations upon the recommendation of the National Police Commission Ad Hoc Advisory Group that investigated them.

In a letter, PNP chief Benjamin Acorda Jr. informed Marcos that the group recommended the non-acceptance of resignations for 935 senior officers and the acceptance of resignations for 18 senior officers.

To prevent the concerned officers from exerting influence or performing illegal activities using their positions, Acorda said the orders for their relief from their present position will be immediately issued, and they will be assigned to the Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit of the Directorate for Personnel and Records Management.

In his second State of the Nation Address on Monday, Marcos said he would accept the resignations of ''unscrupulous law enforcers and others involved in the highly nefarious drug trade.'' 

"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," Marcos said.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos said Marcos was referring to the same investigation and process Abalos initiated in January, where the official asked PNP generals and full colonels to submit their courtesy resignations as part of the government’s effort to rid the force of officers involved in the drug trade.

A five-man advisory group was formed and reviewed the resignations of the PNP's high-ranking officers. Their assessment was submitted to the National Police Commission (Napolcom) for another review.

In May, the Napolcom recommended the acceptance of the courtesy resignation as well as the filing of cases against initially four officers.

According to Abalos, 32 senior officers were recommended for further investigation.

After the extended probe was completed, Abalos said the total number of high-ranking officers whose resignations were recommended to be accepted grew to 18.

Abalos said the PNP reviewed these names and recommended them to the President. 

“It only means one thing, na hindi ningas cogon ito (that the process was sustained), that the government, through the leadership of the President, is really serious about the house cleaning. Importante ito (This is important),” Abalos told GMA News Online.

“We are serious about eradicating this drug menace,” he added. 

Meanwhile, Senator Jinggoy Estrada said these police officials should also face criminal charges.

“Sa akin, ‘di lang dapat resignation, dapat kulong pa  rin… pag found guilty, dapat diretso na sa kulungan,” Estrada said in an interview with reporters.

He also sought an explanation for the non-resignation of policemen who were involved in the controversial P6.7-billion shabu haul in Manila last year.

“I also wanted to know bakit ‘di nasama ang mga pulis na kasama sa hearing, kung bakit hindi sila nag-resign,” he said. — with Hana Bordey/VBL, GMA Integrated News