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Opinion

The purge

THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez - The Freeman

In an impromptu speech given at the 69th Anniversary of the Philippine Air Force, President Duterte finally named not three, but five PNP generals allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade. These are Deputy Director-General Marcelo Garbo Jr. (retired), Chief Superintendent Vicente Loot (retired), Chief Superintendent Bernardo Diaz, Director Joel Pagdilao, and Chief Superintendent Edgardo Tinio.

The President decided to forgo a prepared speech, instead unleashing the bombshell that caught not a few surprised at the names mentioned. The five generals themselves wasted no time in denying the accusations, with all willing to face any investigation by anybody or agency to clear their names. The three active generals will be investigated by the Napolcom, while the retired generals will be probed by the DILG and the DOJ.

Needless to say, the humiliation for the five generals, as warned by Duterte, is absolute. News of the five generals' alleged involvement in illegal drugs quickly spread throughout the nation.

And while there are those who concur with the President's accusations, stating that he would not say something without being sure, there are those who are lamenting the trial by publicity. Innocent until proven guilty, so they say. Indeed, Gen. Tinio could not hold back his tears, and I would say his anger, at the accusations.

Even the parents of Gen. Pagdilao had to say something about the accusations leveled at their son, whom they raised to be God-fearing.

It is up to the Napolcom, DILG, and DOJ to conduct swift and fair investigations to get to the bottom of this. With the issue being a hot one, I'm sure the nation will be following the cases very intently.

On another note, thirty NCRPO officers with alleged involvement in illegal activities have been reassigned to Mindanao. Their respective cases are now with the Internal Affairs Service.

I remember PNP Chief Gen. Dela Rosa saying that cops found to be involved in illegal drugs will be sent to Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and Sulu to fight the Abu Sayyaf.

Obviously the purge of the PNP is well underway. According to "Bato," the President's "shame list" will not stop at five, with more names to crop up once their information is complete. I guess the Napolcom will have a busy second half of the year. The commission has been criticized for "sitting on" so many administrative and criminal cases of erring policemen, where they are actually still in active service, some even committing heinous crimes. Let's hope this time, they keep the guilty behind bars, and the innocent vindicated.

 

 

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