MANILA - Nearly 300 policemen were found to have been using illegal drugs, data from the Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Service (PNP IAS) bared Friday as the force girded for its return to the frontlines of the administration's drug war.
PNP-IAS records showed that out of 180,000 police officers nationwide, 293 have been found using illegal drugs based on a tally from July 2016 to December 2017.
Most of the drug users were from the three lowest ranks: 119 Police Officers 1, 68 Police Officers 2, and 57 Police Officers 3.
Also found using narcotics were 23 Senior Police Officers 1, 10 Senior Police Officers 2, and 2 Senior Police Officers 3.
Several officials also tested positive for drug use: two Inspectors, one Chief Inspector and a Superintendent.
The PNP has been conducting a series of random drug tests as part of its internal cleansing program.
Among non-uniformed personnel, meanwhile, 8 were found using illegal drugs.
“Continuous ang aming effort to ferret out those PNP personnel found to be using illegal drugs because we have to keep our environment safe,” said PNP-IAS Deputy Inspector General Police Director Leo Angelo Leuterio.
Of the 293 found to be using illicit drugs, 221 have been recommended for dismissal from the service.
"These people were charged with the offense of grave misconduct, the punishment of which ranges from 6 months suspension to dismissal from the service," Leuterio said.
HIGHEST IN METRO MANILA
Metro Manila had the most number of policemen using illegal drugs at 39, followed by Southern Tagalog with 34, and the Zamboanga peninsula with 28.
Out of drug-using officers in the capital region, 17 were assigned at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
Central Luzon, meanwhile, recorded 26 policemen using illegal drugs followed by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with 25, Central Visayas with 22, and the Caraga region with 17.
Fifteen officers in Northern Mindanao tested positive, followed by the Davao region with 14, the Southwestern Tagalog region with 10, Western Visayas with 7, Cagayan Valley, Bicol region and Soccsksargen with 6 each, Eastern Visayas with 4, and the Ilocos region with 2.
No policemen meanwhile tested positive for illegal drugs in the Cordillera.
The PNP is set to relaunch its house-to-house anti-drug operation Oplan Tokhang on Monday, issuing fresh guidelines to ensure transparency in the campaign.