MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday gave sacked Bacolod Police chief Sr. Supt. Francisco Ebreo and 4 other police officials a “dressing down” for supposedly allowing the proliferation of illegal drugs in their jurisdiction, the Palace said Wednesday.
The President met with Ebreo, Senior Supt. Allan Rubi Macapagal, Supt. Richie Makilan Yatar, Supt. Nasruddin Daud Tayuan, and Senior Insp. Victor Paulino days after he fired them.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte "expressed his frustration as to why they had no knowledge about the presence of certain personalities in Bacolod who are involved in the illegal drug industry."
The five police officials are relieved from their present posts pending investigation, Panelo added.
"This swift action of the President is a timely warning to other PNP officers that the President will not tolerate incompetence and inefficiency in the police force, especially with respect to the administration’s crusade versus illegal drugs," Panelo said.
"While our efforts in destroying the illegal drug apparatus should remain firm and relentless, we take this occasion to reiterate PRRD’s position that he will support policemen resorting to force only when the same is inevitable as when, in the performance of their duties, a suspect sought to be arrested performs aggressive and violent resistance amounting to an actual or imminent threat to their lives and limbs."
The Palace and PNP leadership have defended Duterte’s sacking of the police officials, even though they have yet to give details on the cops’ alleged role in the illegal drug trade.
Duterte’s long-time aide, Bong Go, said the policemen also denied any involvement in the illegal drug trade during their meeting the President.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency also said the five police officials have no derogatory records.