PNP defends relief of 35 Davao cops

Mark Ernest Villeza - The Philippine Star
PNP defends relief of 35 Davao cops
Members of the Manila Police District (MPD) gather during the pre-launch of the "Bagong Pilipinas" campaign at their headquarters on January 24, 2024.
STAR / Ernie Penaredondo

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has defended the relief of 35 police officers in Davao City, including the city police chief and several station commanders due to drug-related killings.

In a press briefing at Camp Crame yesterday, PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said the PNP respects the statement of Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte and acknowledges efforts of the police to keep the crime rate in the city low.

“We are grateful for the support and assistance from the city government of Davao in maintaining peace and order in the region,” Fajardo said.

The relief of the police officers was based on a recommendation of the regional internal affairs service (RIAS) of the Davao region police.

The recommendation followed a motu proprio investigation by the RIAS on the seven drug fatalities recorded between March 22 and 26.

“One of the recommendations from the RIAS was the administrative relief of these 35 personnel to facilitate the ongoing investigation,” Fajardo said.

She said the relief does not mean that the officers are guilty, but is a standard procedure in the RIAS and PNP when officers are implicated in illegal activities or infractions.

Fajardo said the relief of the officers would pave the way for an impartial inquiry and does not automatically indicate culpability.

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