MANILA (3rd UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday publicly named 5 police officers, including two who are already retired, allegedly involved in illegal drug trade, as he continued to press his campaign against drugs, criminality and corruption.
Speaking at the Philippine Air Force's (PAF) celebration of its 69th anniversary at Clark Air Base, Duterte said he ordered the following relieved from their positions:
- Deputy Director-General Marcelo Garbo Jr. (retired),
- Chief Superintendent Vicente Loot (retired),
- Chief Superintendent Bernardo Diaz,
- Director Joel Pagdilao, and
- Chief Superintendent Edgardo Tinio.
Garbo (PMA Class 1981) and Diaz (PMA Class 1984) were in the news during the elections for supposedly meeting with the camp of presidential candidate Mar Roxas.
Loot was director of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Training Service and director of Police Regional Office 8 before retiring. He is now the mayor of Daanbantayan, Cebu.
Pagdilao, a member of PMA "Maharlika" Class of 1984, served as National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief. He was replaced by Chief Superintendent Oscar D. Albayalde, as ordered by Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa in his first day in office.
Tinio, a member of PMA "Sandiwa" Class of 1985, was the director of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD).
Diaz was identified by Duterte as former director of Region 11, but Diaz said in an interview on radio dzMM that he was never appointed as police regional director of Davao.
Duterte's revelation came days after his appointed PNP chief dared scalawags in the national police force, particularly those involved in illegal drugs, to surrender.
Before the May elections, Duterte said there were at least three high-ranking police officials allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade.
READ: New PNP chief to scalawags: Your days are numbered
In his speech, Duterte said many have long suspected that there are police officials who act as "protectors of drug syndicates."
"The truth of the moment is, itong mga ito, after so many validations, even when I was still mayor of Davao City, lumalabas na itong mga pangalang ito. Talagang lumalabas na," he said.
He said that as President, he is compelled by a sense of duty to name the police officials who have "contributed to the deterioration of the law and order of this country."
"What is really, I said, sad, is that ito yung mga tao who were given the honor to to join the academies of our country, be at the PNP or the PMA, at the expense of the public."
"All along, tayong mga mamamayan thought that we are being protected by the police primarily. Masakit pakinggan kasi ginastusan mo na, binayaran mo ‘yung pag-aaral niya, lahat ng uniporme pati medyas niya pati sapatos gastos mo, tapos you commit. By any language, it is really treason," he said.
Duterte ordered the officials relieved of their positions and to report to Dela Rosa in Camp Crame. He also ordered the National Police Commission (Napolcom) to investigate the officials.
"Huwag ninyo akong bigyan ng zarzuela. Hanapin ninyo ang totoo," he said.
In separate interviews over DZMM and ANC, cops tagged in the supposed drug trade denied the accusations.
According to Duterte, he has sought the help of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in his administration's "bloody fight" against scalawags in the police force, warning erring cops against placing themselves "in the line of fire."
He believes he has reiterated enough his advocacy to stop drugs, criminality and corruption, even vowing to "kill" criminals and cops alike multiple times, ever since the start of his campaign for the presidency.
"Kapag hindi pa naman sapat sa lahat yan ay ewan ko, what else," said Duterte.
"It's going to be a dirty fight. It's going to be a bloody fight. I am not apologizing for it," he added.
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The 71-year-old veteran politician said he is ready to stake his presidency and even his own life just to ensure a drug and crime-free Philippines.
"Anumang kaso, under the Revised Penal Code, in the fulfillment of your duties as public authority, akin yan, mine and mine alone. I assume full legal responsibility. Huwag kayong matakot, basta nasa tama tayo," he said.
"Hindi ako uurong dito. I will stake my honor, my life and even the presidency kaya kong binitawan yan. I do not have any illusions about being there all the time. Nandito na rin ako, gawin ko ang gawain ko," he added.