LCP backs Abalos’ call for courtesy resignation of top PNP officers

January 6, 2023 Joel dela Torre 312 views

Police regional offices throw support

DEPARTMENT of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr.’s call for police generals and colonels to file their “courtesy resignations” as part of the government’s fight against illegal drugs, is not only getting support from the uniformed services but also from political groups.

The League Cities of the Philippines (LCP) has joined high-ranking officials in uniform, composing the DILG’s tri-bureau in supporting Abalos’ approach many described as “radical.”

Headed by no less than Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Rodolfo Azurin Jr., the commanders of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP)and Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Directors Allan Iral and Louie Puracan have also committed to bear with SILG’s (Secretary of the Interior and Local Government) cause.

But unlike Azurin, who led police officials in the filing of courtesy resignation, both Iral and Puracan are not covered by the call.

Iral said that the BJMP supports the campaign through constant coordination with the PNP, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), local government units (LGUs), and other illegal drug advocates to prevent the smuggling of illegal drugs in jail facilities.

Puracan, for his part, said he believed that the objectives of the DILG’s “war on drugs” are aligned with the BFP’s vision of ensuring a safer community to live.

According to LCP, the call of Abalos Jr. “is necessary [for] upholding the principles enshrined in our Consitution, particularly the prime duty of the state, through the PNP, to serve and protect its people.”

In a resolution (2023-01), LCP, which is composed of 147 member cities that advocates for “integrity, justice, and adherence to the rule of law,” states that the PNP in serving as allies of the cities in maintaining peace and order and must always possess “a continuing good moral character, credible reputation and conduct themselves professionally at all times.”

The league, it added, believes that this appeal (to file a courtesy resignation) is an opportunity to “purge” the PNP of a few individuals advancing their selfish interests that negatively impact the entire organization.

Abalos said that a five-man team of trustworthy individuals will be on top of going through pertinent records to find out who is involved in the illegal drugs trade.

Among them is Baguio City Benjamin Magalong.

Abalos earlier refused to name the five-man team, but Magalong, he said, gave him the green light to reveal his inclusion.

Following Azurin in filing a courtesy resignation were National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Maj. Gen. Jonnel Estomo and Manila Police District (MPD) Firector Brig. Gen. Andre P. Dizon.

‘CL cops to heed DILG chief’s cleansing’

THE more than 12,000 men and women of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 3 under the leadership of Police Brigadier Gen. Cesar Pasiwen on Friday said they strongly support the call of SILG’s appeal to help “cleanse” the police organization of “rogues in uniform,” particularly those involved in illegal drugs.

Pasiwen said that over the years, the PNP had been seriously enforcing its intensified cleansing program to weed out “misfits and scalawags,” and it has zero tolerance for any form of a misdemeanor.

“Thus, we are willing to submit ourselves to undergo a thorough evaluation process and be cleared from all doubts or insinuations as to our service integrity and reputation,” Pasiwen said.

Pasiwen vowed that the PRO 3 will continuously support the DILG and the PNP chief to cleanse the police ranks and rid the organization of erring cops.

‘3 generals, 22 colonels tender resignation in Davao Region’

In Davao City, three generals and 22 colonels from the PRO 11 in Davao Region tendered their resignation on Friday, supporting DILG’s effort to weed out police “scalawags.”

In an interview, Brig. Gen. Benjamin Silo Jr., the PRO 11 regional director, said they are in unison in supporting the call of the DILG chief.

“We set aside legalities, and we do it purely on moral stance and as a challenge to our character. I think this is one sure way for us to occupy the moral high ground in the campaign against illegal drugs,” he said.

Silo assured that the courtesy resignation of top officials of PRO 11 has no direct effect on their operational activities against illegal drugs.

“We will be doing the same thing; in fact, we will be strengthening and [lengthening] our Simultaneous Anti-Criminality Law Enforcement Operations (SACLEO),” he said.

While they have tendered their resignation, Silo clarified that they will still be occupying the same position while waiting for the result of the evaluation from the five-man committee to be named by the DILG and the PNP.

He also assured that none from the PRO 11 had been involved in any illegal drug activities.

Meanwhile, Abalos thanked the move and support from the men in uniform, not only from PRO 11 but in the entire country.

“It is an act of honor. When the institution is a challenge by these ninja cops, I believe that the PNP will answer our call,” he said in an interview.

Abalos also divulged that the five-man committee that will deliberate and evaluate the resigned officials includes Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong.

“He has impeccable credentials. I cannot mention the other members of the committee for security purposes,” he added.

He said the committee will check through the intelligence report, deliberate and go through a process of identifying scalawag members of the PNP.

“We will accept their resignation. They can consider it as an early retirement and they still have intact benefits. However, if the evidence is so great and there is a need to file a case, that’s the time to check if they can get their benefits,” Abalos added. BY JOEL DELA TORRE AND BERNARD GALANG