Duterte allies in Congress back naming of top cops

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 06 2016 02:16 PM

Senator Vicente Sotto III and Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles. File/Composite

But cold to congressional probe

MANILA - Congressional allies of President Rodrigo Duterte backed his decision to name police officers allegedly involved in the illegal drugs trade.

Duterte yesterday named Deputy Director-General Marcelo Garbo Jr. (retired), Chief Superintendent Vicente Loot (retired), Chief Superintendent Bernardo Diaz, Director Joel Pagdilao, and Chief Superintendent Edgardo Tinio as the police generals involved in the illegal drug trade.

In separate interviews over DZMM and ANC, the cops tagged in the supposed drug trade denied the accusations and decried the supposed lack of due process.

Senator Vicente Sotto III, a possible Senate majority leader in the 17th Congress, said the National Police Commission (Napolcom) is in a better position to probe the police officers compared to Congress.

Sotto's likely counterpart in the Lower House, Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas said, Duterte has the power to order the prosecution of the police officers.

''Congress should allow him to do his job, with the 3rd branch of the government, the judiciary, performing its constitutional duty to determine the guilt or innocence of those accused. A congressional investigation, in aid of legislation, on the matter would only muddle the issues since those accused would certainly invoke their rights to remain silent and against incriminating themselves,'' Fariñas said.

Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, meanwhile, said Duterte only made good on his promise to be bold in fighting crimes and illegal drugs in the country.

"Iyan ang freedom of information. Tinupad lamang ni President Duterte ang pangako nyang pangalanan ang mga heneral pagkatapos niyang binigyan ng pagkakataon sumurender,'' Nograles said.

''At ito ay kaugnay sa patakaran nyang maging transparent ang gobyerno. Noong kampanya pa, sinabi na nyang meron syang nalalaman tungkol sa mga heneral na sangkot sa iligal na droga. Ngayon na Presidente na siya at nasa kamay niya ang napakasensitibong intelligence information, nai-verify na ang mga report. At palagay ko, hindi pa natatapos dito. Mula sa heneral pababa, pangangalanan ni Presidente ang iba pa."

Senator Sonny Angara, for his part, supported an investigation on the allegations.

"It should definitely be investigated because the prospect of having high-ranking police officials in bed with the drug trade is truly, truly a horrific and frightening prospect. Which is why we have been filing a bill called the Magna Carta for PNP which provides bigger allowances and benefits for our policemen, in order to help them resist possible temptations provided by illegal syndicates,'' he said.