MANILA - Incoming Philippine National Police chief Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa said Tuesday that a zero-tolerance approach awaits policemen involved in the narcotics trade.
Speaking to radio dzMM, Dela Rosa said he will prioritize weeding out scalawag members of the 160,000-strong PNP.
"Hindi namin kayang patawarin ang aming mga ka-baro, aming kapwa pulis na sila na nga dapat ang magpapahinto sa problema ng droga e sila pa ang nagpapalaganap. Talagang uunahin namin iyang mga ka-baro naming involved," Dela Rosa told radio dzMM.
"Hindi lang sa Metro Manila kundi maging sa ibang regions, marami tayong record na sila ang involved diyan. Sila ang nagre-recycle, sila ang nagpo-protekta."
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President-elect Rodrigo Duterte earlier said three high-ranking officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) have links with the drug trade.
"Corruption must stop. Tatlong general diyan sa Crame (should) resign. Do not wait for me to name you in public because I will only humiliate you," he said in a speech.
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The PNP has intensified police anti-narcotics operations that saw over 60 suspects killed and more than 3,700 arrested, from March 10 to June 20.
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Some people, however, have speculated that the crackdown against drug peddlers may have been launched in a bid to stop targets from ratting out lawmen who act as "padrinos" or protectors of drug rings.
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Addressing these rumors, Dela Rosa said some people believe the worst of policemen because of the PNP's corruption-tainted image. "Iyung mga ganyan, hindi maiwasang mag-isip ang taumbayan kasi ang tingin nga ng taumbayan, hindi malinis ang kapulisan, mayroong mga ginagawang kasindikatuhan," he said.
But Dela Rosa also asked the public to give the PNP a chance to clean up its act.
"Sana naman sa ating mga kababayan, please give your PNP a chance. Bigyan niyo ng tsansa ang ating kapulisan to prove na talagang kami'y totoong pulis ninyo na andito to serve and protect."
In exchange, he promised to do everything, including a massive reshuffle of PNP personnel, in order to restore the public's trust in the national police.
"Iyung feeling namin dito sa Davao City police na mahal na mahal ng mga taumbayan, iyun sana ang gusto kong maramdaman ng kapulisan sa buong Pilipinas," he said.
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