Magalong, Gibo among 5-member PNP review board

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
Magalong, Gibo among 5-member PNP review board
Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalon and Gilbert Teodoro Jr.
The STAR / Geremy Pintolo, file photo

MANILA, Philippines — The chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), a former defense chief and two retired police generals holding key civilian posts are among the members of the five-person panel that will review records of police generals and colonels who submitted their courtesy resignation as part of the government’s anti-drug campaign.

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos said PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin would steer the advisory group, which is expected to finish its task within three months.?Other members of the panel include Gilbert Teodoro Jr. and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong.

Teodoro is a lawyer, politician and business executive, who served as secretary of the Department of National Defense during the administration of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Magalong is a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) who served the PNP for more than 38 years.

Also in the advisory body is Isagani Neres, a retired police general and PMA alumnus who is now the undersecretary for police affairs in the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Military Affairs (OPAMA).

Before his appointment to the OPAMA, Neres was assigned to the Police Anti-Crime Emergency Response, Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force and PNP Anti-kidnapping Group. ?

Abalos said the fifth member wanted to remain anonymous for security reasons.

“They are known for their unquestionable integrity, credibility and untainted reputation,” Abalos said at a press briefing in Malacañang yesterday.

“They will be very independent. It is difficult to influence them. Let them decide for (themselves). We could just provide information, intelligence report, etc.,” he added.

Asked how the screening would be done as Azurin is part of the group and had also submitted his courtesy resignation, Abalos said: “He has been screened and the President and I already talked about this.”

“It is only proper since his resignation was not accepted. That he is needed there… the chief PNP to steer the committee. He is in a position to give, probably, recent intelligence report about the committee,” he added.

Abalos clarified that members of the advisory group won’t receive any allowance or salary and will conduct the review voluntarily.  

Last month, Abalos urged generals and full colonels of the PNP to submit their courtesy resignation, citing the need to address the alleged involvement of some law enforcers in the illegal drug trade.

He said the “radical move” would provide the fight against illegal drugs a fresh start.

Abalos assured police officers that they have nothing to worry about if they are not into the illegal drug trade.

Police officials were given until Jan. 31 to file their courtesy resignations.

Members of the advisory group will go through the records of the police officials.

The names of officials whose resignations were accepted will be submitted to the National Police Commission, which will conduct its own review.

Only one

Abalos said that of the 955 generals and full colonels, 12 did not comply with his appeal to resign.

“But if you look at it, it’s not really 12. Only one did not comply. Why? Of the 12, five have retired, so that leaves us with seven. Of the seven, six are retiring. If we are going to look at the figures, technically, only one has not yet submitted the resignation out of 955,” he said.

He declined to identify the official who did not quit his post. Azurin said the lone police official who did not tender a courtesy resignation is a male full colonel.

“According to him, that’s his personal prerogative,” Azurin said.

Abalos said the police official would not be punished for not heeding his call.

“No sanctions will be done – nothing at all. But of course, we will determine why he did not want (to resign). We will really determine that. But other than those, as I have told people time and again and assure the police, no sanctions at all,” he said.

Abalos assured the public that there would be continuous monitoring of the narcotics situation and building up of cases against drug offenders.  

“Up to the lowest rank, it is continuous. And after this, probably, it’s time to even review the organization itself, the structure, even the recruitment itself – the Philippine National Police Academy. If there are deficiencies, what are they? What can be done to help address it? Just look at the gaps,” he said.


Azurin yesterday assured his fellow senior police officials that he would be fair in assessing their records.

“I assure all the third level officers of the PNP that the processes to be undertaken will be fair, objective and judicious at all stages,” he said in a statement.

He emphasized that he and other members of the panel have zero tolerance for personal biases and political color.

“We can be sure that the PNP will be in good and reliable hands of trustworthy third level officers,” Azurin said. –  Emmanuel Tupas

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