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Duterte orders AFP to arrest rogue cops

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the military to arrest police scalawags as the internal cleansing of the Philippine National Police is ongoing. Kriz John Rosales, File

MANILA, Philippine — President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Tuesday the military to arrest rogue policemen and drug personalities as he purges the Philippine National Police (PNP) of scalawags.

Duterte admitted that his anti-drug campaign can be used by some policemen to commit wrongdoings. 

“No policemen in this country anywhere is allowed to enforce laws related to the drug campaign. Kasi magamit nila ’yang, palitan nila ‘yang warrant, palitan lang ang pangalan tapos pupunta  (they can use and change the names in the arrest warrant),” the president said during the oath taking of newly promoted generals in Malacañang.

“Let me reorganize the enforcement diyan sa drugs sa police (of laws against drugs by the police). In the meantime, they would be arrested and I will order you to arrest them,” he added. 

The PNP has suspended its anti-drug operations or Oplan Tokhang following the outrage over the killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo by members of the Anti-Illegal Drugs Group.

Jee was reportedly kidnapped by policemen in Angeles, Pampanga on Oct. 18, 2016. He was said to have been strangled to death inside Camp Crame, the main headquarters of the PNP. Witnesses claimed that the businessman’s body was cremated, while his ashes flushed down a toilet.

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Jee’s kidnappers reportedly made it appear that he was still alive and demanded P5 million ransom from his wife.

Duterte has apologized for the incident and has assured Jee’s widow Choi Kyung Jin that justice would be “swiftly served.”

He has also ordered the abolition of all anti-drug units of the PNP and placed all narcotics-related operations under the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

The president claimed that about 6,000 policemen are into illegal drugs, prompting him to tap the military to assist in his narcotics crackdown.

“Kung hindi ko kayo ipasok sa laro, patay ako. Walang magtingin diyan sa abusadong pulis (If I don’t put you into the picture, I am doomed. Nobody will look after the abusive policemen),” he said.  

“The culture of corruption sa pulis, matindi (is serious).”

Duterte said Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo is going to Seoul to extend his apologies to the South Korean government.

“I told him (Panelo) to make a good apology. We can’t do anything. It happened. Ang pinakabastos sa lahat, ang masakit daw sa kanila is talagang ‘yung (The most disrespectful for them is) flushing (the ashes) down the drain the toilet bowl,” the president said. 

“Nasaktan sila. Maski naman gawain sa atin ‘yan (They were hurt. We would feel the same if it was done to us).”

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